Tuesday, 30 August 2011



Vampires are hideously romanticised in cinema: even as far back as Lugosi in the Universals of the 1930s. Subsequent incarnations - Christopher Lee in the Hammers, Frank Langella, The Lost Boys, the Blades and the Twilights - have steadily transformed the archetype from a foul and wretched parasite to an angst-ridden teenage hulk sulking with his shirt off. A cinematic reversion to the vile creature of the night, the Nosferatu, is long overdue. Aren't they supposed to be horrible and repulsive monsters?

Attempts are occasionally made to deglam the vampire, but that then becomes more of a drama about the "person": George Romero's Martin (a film I have no great love for) is the most obvious example. Or Midnight Son, which focuses on Jacob, a pallid and unsocial security guard on the night shift, who only discovers his vampiric nature by chance when drinking the raw blood from the steak packaging. But animal blood isn't enough; can he obtain human blood smuggled out of the hospital? Or will he resort to feeding his hunger in the time-honoured and traditional manner?

Even at just 95 minutes, it's a drag. Certainly there's a nicely plausible if downbeat relationship that develops between the reluctant vampire and Mary, the junkie candy seller. But there's no sense of terror or tension, and the lead is such a drab and lifeless character that it's difficult to care what happens. Ultimately you may well nod off because Midnight Son is frankly a pretty dull film. How do you make vampirism dull?


No comments: