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'The Thompsons' DVD Review

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

By

The Thompsons © XLrator

The Bottom Line

Slick and well made but shallow vampire fare.
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Pros

  • Good acting
  • Solid production value
  • Fast pace

Cons

  • Characters are flat and not particularly likable

Description

  • Starring Cory Knauf, Daniel O'Meara, Mackenzie Firgens, Elizabeth Henstridge, Samuel Child, Ryan Hartwig, Sean Browne, Tom Holloway, Joseph McKelheer, Selina Giles, Sean Cronin
  • Directed by The Butcher Brothers
  • Rated R
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2013

Guide Review - 'The Thompsons' DVD Review

Picking up shortly after the end of original After Dark Horrorfest entry The Hamiltons (potential spoilers ahead if you have not seen that film), The Thompsons finds the titular vampiric family on the run from authorities after a murderous assault on diner patrons is caught on a security camera, making them internationally notorious fugitives. During the diner incident, youngest brother Lenny is seriously hurt, and the Hamiltons take on a new name -- the Thompsons -- and head to Europe in search for a way to save Lenny's life. While his siblings search through France, Francis heads to England and runs into a vampire clan by the name of the Stuarts. Initially welcoming, the Stuarts soon reveal ulterior motives and turn on Francis, holding him captive and laying a deadly trap for the rest of his family.

The Thompsons is a slick little vampire movie -- attractively shot and well acted with a budget seemingly higher than its predecessor. Bloody and sexual, it plays more like True Blood than Twilight, combined with the outlaw nature of the '80s cult fave Near Dark. It's got a hip indie vibe rife with voiceovers and self-aware flashbacks, but all of the cool trappings don't make the characters any more likable; they're still murderers and borderline sadists who don't "make due" on animal blood, Tru Blood or the like, so it's not always easy to root for these antiheroes. Not helping matters is the fact that writers-directors The Butcher Brothers don't significantly differentiate nor expand the rather stagnant characters (perhaps assuming they did enough of that in The Hamiltons).

Fans of traditional vampire lore may not appreciate this brand of living dead, who walk in the sunlight, have no aversion to crosses and can die from a simple gunshot, but there's enough in this quick-moving film to satisfy horror fans used to much lower-aiming direct-to-video fare.

The DVD

Special features include behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Movie: C+
DVD: C

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Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the distributor. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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