I’ve seen a poster tagline for this film that stated: “Not scary. Not sexy. Not trendy. Just Belgian.” Meant as a humorous description of the vampires in this film, it also pretty much sums up the film itself. Belgian mockumentary Vampires is an amusing little film, but nothing that will make anyone’s “best-of”-list in years to come.
The aim of Vampires is to direct criticism at (as well as poke fun at) current society and its problems (racism, social divide, etc.). The most obvious example to illustrate that technique is the vampire family’s teenage daughter. She dresses in pink and wishes to be human – so she must be the vampire version of a goth girl. There are more examples of that kind, and I assume that there may be bits of the social and poltical satire that will only be understood by Belgians. For me, there is nothing wrong with satire; but this like-for-like concept (teenage vampire girl dressing in pink = reverse goth) gets old rather quickly. There are other problems with this film, all inherent to its genre: being a satire, all the film’s characters are stock characters. And because it is a mockumentary, there is little to no character development. These are two aspects that do not exactly help a feature length film.
The film bravely sticks to the fictional documentary format throughout, but that does not always work. The film is interesting and funny in the beginning, but quickly begins to run out of steam, especially towards the end. It seems as if the writers did not really know how to bring this one to a conclusion.
I am sorry if this review sounds overly critical. The film is not bad, you just sort of grow increasingly tired of it the longer it goes on. Still, there are plenty of funny scenes and ideas in it.
If you can get Vampires for not too much money (7-8 USD), and if – like me – you like to watch different genre applications of the vampire theme, then this film is probably worth a try. I guess I would rate this film at around 5 out of 10, maybe 5.5. Imdb’s current rating of 6.2 is generous but not totally undeserved.
PS: DVDs seem to be in French with English subtitles. As I have not watched any of these versions I cannot vouch for the quality of those subtitles.