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Vampire Diary (2007)

Lead Us Into Temptation

...and deliver us from the goths.

You see the characters and you hate them. That makes it hard for me to objectively review this movie adequately. But then again, every review of mine turns into me ranting subjectively on something, so there we go.

Meet the gang! Yippiiee!

Vampire Diary starts out in a special subset of the goth-scene: The vampire lifestyle scene, in this special case that of London. For some reason I cannot fathom, these people call themselves "weekend vampires" - a bunch of young adults who like to "play vampire" in their free time. They dress up as vampires, put fake fangs in their mouth (I guess that makes it hard to talk without a slight lisp, as can be heard throughout the movie, which is quite amusing) and dance to loud music and frantic, epilepsy-inducing lights when they are not cutting each other's arms in something they call "the exchange" in order to suck on the small cuts.

Within this freaky scene we find Holly, a quite normal young filmmaker who decided to shoot a documentary about this group of young people, associating with them and filming all the while.

Plothole: The "documentary" focuses around a core of 4 or 5 people (+/- some) - I can't for the life of me imagine that they'd just let themselves be filmed all the time and somehow taking it for granted. Especially not given the wider circle of friends and acquaintances and the entire subculture itself.
And especially not given the set of circumstances - I don't exactly know if cutting other people for blood at parties is the most legal or even sane thing to do. Is there a group of people like that in London? Scary thought. I find it doubtful that such a scene would accept to be filmed just like that all the time by someone who isn't a trusted friend. Yet Holly somehow seems to exist in a vacuum - it is useful for the viewer, because her view of this scene of people is as distant as ours, but it makes a few aspects of the documentary-approach just not believable.

Preparations for "The Exchange"...

Her character is constructed as an outsider to the weekend vampires, partly as a plot device, partly for the viewer and style of the "documentary" - but there's no way people like that would let an outsider film all of their secret ...indulgences (no insults intended for any of my readers who happen to be of this persuasion. More power to you, really.).

Scary fact:
Somewhere, someone is masturbating to the thought of blonde vampire nurses in short uniforms.

This approach worked in Man Bites Dog, a French movie (correct me if I'm wrong, it has been years since I've seen it on a VHS) - but the approach of the filmmakers in that mockumentary was different, and the relationship(s) between the filmer and the filmed more closely cut defined. Plus, for Raptor Jesus' sake, they filmed a serial killer. Holly (Morven Macbeth) is filming a fringe group of goths who think vampires are really cool. Not a serial killer. It just doesn't really work out the way it should.

Anyways, on with the plot. Holly films the weekend vampires, and one day, a woman named Vicky appears in London's underground scene of those living the vampire lifestyle. She is beautiful, she is mysterious, and she captures the attention of Holly's camera quickly. Especially since Vicky is also holding a camera - filming her.

Vicky soon seduces the (straight) Holly, and the two women fall in love with one another - and in the vampire scene, people start to disappear. And Vicky never eats anything, and questions quickly pile up. It turns out that she is a "real vampire" - she has to drink blood in order to survive - human blood. As the relationship between the two women spirals down the rabbit hole because of Vicky being a vampire, it takes a turn for the worse when it turns out that the vampire vixen is pregnant after she had been raped by a male "real vampire". The fetus grows quickly, and Vicky grows ever more hungry and careless in acquiring victims. The situation grows (there we go, I really hoped not to use it a third time, but apparently I can't help it) ever more desperate as the weekend vampires begin to wonder about some things.

Plothole: It is highly unlikely that a "real vampire" would film all it does. Who in their right mind would want to capture on camera how one kills people and drinks their blood? For what purpose? The Saturday Night Romantic Movie Evening With Blankets? "Oh, look honey, that was when I killed that bum. Doesn't the blood look stunning on my face?"*

It's not so much a real horror film than a relationship drama that centers around the problems of the age-old adage how the love between a vampire and a human can unfold (as witnessed by the Twilight craze)... and where to get new victims.

The movie really isn't bad. If you take it as a "vampire-love-story"-kind of movie, it certainly works good. As a horror movie... not so much. However, the vampire lore is something a little more unusual here; as you might have gathered from me mentioning Vicky's pregnancy, "real vampires" can procreate - but only with others of their kind, which would make them another species entirely. "Real vampires are born with two sets of fangs and really really need to drink blood - and only human blood will do. I honestly don't remember whether they mention that "real vampires" are immortal or whether they age normally, or slower, or whatever, but it makes for some nicely played situations.

And the goths are so freaking annoying.

The camera is as could be expected from a fake documentary, but it sometimes offers really pretty shots. And the subtle use of very, very, very slow zoom can be applauded. I liked the zoom.

Another thing... once again, it's Rippy the Razor time;

We get some erotic scenes (as evidenced below), some vaguely gory scenes... they're more tools than anything else. The main character of the story is doubtlessly Vicky, with a great performance from ex-model Anna Walton. She puts in a very strong performance as the "real vampire", and frankly, without her, the movie would be crap. I haven't seen Hellboy II, and I can remember Mutant Chronicles only dimly (too boring), so I can't really comment on her overall acting skills in different roles, but she really carried the movie.

Yes, this is an accidentally shot view of a woman's body. No, no naughty parts.

Useless Trivia of the Day: The song you hear at 0:44:40 is "Lesbian Vampires from Outer Space" by the Scary Bitches.

You really have to accept and like that sort of movie. I was pleasantly surprised... if only more goths had been killed. On the other hand, the movie as a whole concept, taking aside Walton's performance for a moment, it's... not that great. *sighs*

I'm being generous. To encourage a bit more violence and less goths.
7/10 difficulties getting coagulated blood out from between the teeth.

*Yes. Yes it does.

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