Vampire Diary (2007)

Vampire Diary is a British movie that takes the form of a documentary. It centres around an aspiring filmmaker named Holly who has befriended a group of ’weekend vampires’; a gaggle of heavily made up Goths who like to play make believe and pretend that they’re un-dead bloodsuckers whilst exploring the underground club scene. It’s during the filmmaking process that Holly meets the charismatic and strikingly beautiful Vicki who claims to be a real vampire. The two strike up a friendship and soon after, a loving relationship which culminates in the pair of them looting hospitals for blood, alienating everyone round them and covering up a series of increasingly violent murders.

There are many problems with this movie. The first thing I took issue with was the shaky, grainy documentary style footage which seemed unnecessarily gimmicky and on occasion, shoddily edited. The second was the atrocious manner in which the ‘Goths’ were represented. In my 26 years I’ve met many Goths and know one or two quite well; all of them, I’m sure, would be markedly offended by the characterization of their on-screen counterparts. Each one of them is a hideously exaggerated two-dimensional caricature, all of them lack any semblance of depth or realism. The principal characters are adequately presented and the performances are actually quite good but the surrounding bunch of uninspiring secondary players mitigate the effect. Morven Macbeth is, occasionally, irritatingly bland and Anna Walton’s plummy accent grates but they still make a surprisingly watchable couple. I’m sure most men will find the gratuitous lesbian love scenes quite titillating but beyond the first instance of lady-on-lady coitus, the subsequent scenes felt utterly disposable and the inclusion was an obvious ploy at gaining a wider male audience.

Due to the nature of the documentary stylings, the entire film seems a little disjointed and uneven. There are many annoyingly rough cuts from one scene to the next, sometimes with little explanation to shed light on what happened in the interim which makes the whole thing needlessly confused and confusing.

Most of the pacing was quite slow, meaning the proceedings were somewhat stagnant at times, and the delivery of certain lines was unintentionally hilarious (“Vampire baby?……vampire…baby…”) which sent everything into something of an uneven keel. There is little to shock the audience and despite the presence of oodles of fake blood, most of the gore is pretty standard, sometimes even mundane. Much of the film, naturally, takes place in the dark but rather than creating a sinister atmosphere, it simply made me squint and long for a well-lit scene so I could see what the hell was going on.

Vampire Diary had the potential to be a great movie but thanks to its stale and unimaginative execution, it remains regrettably middle-of-the-road. Watch only if you’re a diehard vampire enthusiast, or a glutten for punishment.

Rating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

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