The Thompsons (2012)

This is a difficult film to review. There is nothing wrong with it as such, and yet I am very sure I will very soon have forgotten about this film. There just isn’t anything memorable about it.

Not being memorable is a trait this film shares with its precursor, The Hamiltons. And yet, there is one major difference: the acting is good, and the cast seems to fit their characters well. Which is all the more surprising since the main cast is exactly the same as in that other film six years prior, and in that film their acting was just plain terrible.

After the events of The Hamiltons, our dysfunctional family has been on the run. One particular incident compels them to leave the United States and resettle in Europe, where they split up in search of shelter and support. And we all know that splitting up is never a good idea, don’t we?

The premise is good, as is the story (unlike in The Hamiltons); although it feels to me as if the actual plot would have been more suitable for an episode of a vampire TV show rather than a film. Which is probably why the team behind the film tried to give it more “oomph” by adding not just a fair bit of nudity and some sex, but also a lot of very graphic, gory, blood-splattering violence. Still, as far as vampire films go, this one is a nice change. The Thompsons focuses on vampires on the run; which is not new, but our vampires here get themselves into entirely unfamiliar territory. The film also feels less “empty” as The Hamiltons: by providing the characters in The Thompsons with actual tasks (things to do, places to go to), the writers/directors (the “Butcher Brothers” Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores) seem to have learned a lesson from the shortcomings of their earlier film. Talking about the directing: I would have preferred it if they had omitted the extended flash-back that was chosen to tell us why the family left the States – this could have been done “in passing” much more efficiently, e. g. by using newspapers and TV reports only. Also, the film’s ending feels a bit forced.

 

I think the current imdb-rating of 4.7 is too low. It feels like a 6.0 to me. To me, this really is a massive improvement on the first film, which I really did not like.

I wouldn’t exactly recommend The Thompsons to you, but I can likewise see no reason why you shouldn’t watch it. The only problem is that in order to watch this film you might feel inclined to see The Hamiltons first, and that would be 80 utterly wasted minutes of your life that you will never get back.

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