June 9th, 2010 by Coventry

Vampires   Vampires poster CR 81x120 reviews horror drama comedy Director: Vincent Lannoo
Frédérique Broos and Vincent Lannoo
Release year:

Man Bites Vampire!

Vampires   BIFFF 2010 minilogo1 reviews horror drama comedy A Belgian documentary crew is sent out to film the life of a vampire family. Previous filmcrews weren’t very lucky in getting their documentary made, as none of them returned. But this time they seem to have found an odd enough vampire family willing to fly with the idea of theirs lives being documented…


Vampires   Vampires titleCR 300x168 reviews horror drama comedy

The greatest cult movie that my country ever brought forward is inarguably Man Bites Dog (aka C’est Arrivé Près De Chez Vous, 1992), about a group of journalists following around a serial killer who openly talks about his occupation and proudly illustrates his modus operandi in front of the camera. Now, nearly twenty years later, Belgium has another false/pseudo documentary ready with Vampires, although I doubt this one will Vampires   Vampires 01CR 300x162 reviews horror drama comedy become as big and successful. Too bad actually, because Vampires is a fresh, inventive and pleasantly deranged movie with an intelligent script and devoted acting performances by the ensemble cast.

The members of a TV crew get the assignment of following around a family of vampires and shoot a documentary about their life, habits and characteristics. The crew receives a warm welcome from patriarch Georges, his wife Bertha and their two children Samson and Grace. The family lives in the French- speaking part of Belgium, where life is beautiful and easy-going thanks to the country’s protective and all-covering social system. They feed on illegal immigrants and former prostitutes referred to as “Meat” and attend gatherings with other vampires in the same district. The vampires have their share of problems as well, like recurring arguments with the couple living in the basement (vampires without children haven’t got the right to purchase a Vampires   Vampires 02CR 300x162 reviews horror drama comedy house), the teenage daughter Grace wishes to be human and commits suicide all the time even though she’s immortal and the partying son Samson has been caught having sex with the wife of the district vampire leader. Because of this last act being a tremendous offense, Georges and his family are exiled to Canada, where a vampire’s life is a lot less cheerful.


The film’s biggest trump is the clever and witty screenplay, co-written by director Vincent Lannoo, that is chock-full of funny little gags, subtle society criticism and honorable references towards film and literature classics. There’s not a dull moment in the script and the pacing is fast and rhythmic enough to keep you entertained throughout. This isn’t really a horror movie, but Vampires   Vampires 03CR 300x161 reviews horror drama comedy still there are a handful of bloody massacres and nasty rituals illustrated on screen, basically to emphasize that the main characters are and remain, in fact, monsters. The performances are terrific.


Like with Man Bites Dog, I presume Belgians feel very comfortable with talking straight into the camera and act completely natural about the most eccentric and dubious subject matter. Vampires is a creative and replenishing comedy that makes me proud to be Belgian – especially since we only make the international news because of our political crisis and mass murderers – and I hope Vincent Lannoo & C° will be able to expand the success of this film beyond Belgian boundaries as well.

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