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Vampires

Year: 2010
Production Co: Left Field Ventures
Director: Vincent Lannoo
Writer: Frédérique Broos/Vincent Lannoo

It was interesting to see this film after watching the similar What We Do In the Shadows only a few weeks earlier. Even though that movie is superior, there's still plenty to like in this Belgian production.

The funniest part might be the opening title cards that explain how the production company kept sending film crews to the house occupied by a family of vampires only to have them all disappear (presumably killed).

The odd nuclear family consist of a lascivious, unhinged mother Bertha, world-weary and stressed father Georges, lothario son Sampson and the mopey teenage daughter Grace who hates her life and wishes she were human.

Through interviews and day-in-the-life views of the family in their habitat, we learn about their lives and ways. They have none of the same sexual taboos humans have, all four members of the family routinely sleeping together, for example.

We also meet the meek human girl who lives in a locked greenhouse at the back of the house and provides sustenance for the family – their mealtimes consist of strapping her down, injecting hoses into her and draining her to the point of death before putting her back in her cage to recuperate.

The corrupt local police take bribes to deliver undocumented immigrants for food, the local coffin maker explains his burgeoning business as a preferred provider, and they mistreat the kindly couple who live in their cramped basement – vampires with no children are very looked down upon.

But things can't stay the same forever. Grace withdraws more all the time and it soon starts to look like she might find a way of getting her wish. Sampson wants to sleep with the community leader's wife, a desire that throws the whole family into crisis when they're exiled to Canada.

Vampires has a story to tell and it does so through classic mockumentary devices of first person interviews along with fly on the wall camera. The movie loses its way a little bit when the family find themselves banished to Montreal and while there aren't nearly as many belly laughs as What We Do In the Shadows, it's still fun.

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