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Movie Review Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)


Movie Review Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

A movie that is great beyond its promise and premise.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

A movie much better than the promise or premise!




The trailer for this movie left me stuck in the middle. We have an insane premise- that the 16th President of the United States did double duty as a monster killer and some wicked and slickly filmed chop chop action thrown in. Director Timur Bekmambetov, from the Night Watch and Day Watch movies, is no stranger to fangs in film. He channels his passion for all things dark and scary and then adds a pinch of Matrix (no surprise) and Brotherhood of the Wolf. The Brotherhood nod is for seeing early Americana mixed with Martial Arts.


It works. The movie succeeds- a huge credit goes to the serious handling of the iconic Abraham Lincoln character [played by Benjamin Walker] and the great lengths taken to capture the mid 1800s spirit. Writer Seth Grahame-Smith has layered a dark tale of vengeance around the most important issues of the time- slavery and the Civil War.


Vampire movies have always preyed and played with the idea of man verse monster. It’s always been the choice between gaining enormous power and holding on to our fragile humanity. We parallel the struggle between the monstrous idea of slavery verse the inalienable rights of every man to be equal. Who would have guessed we’d tap such weighty subjects in a film about honest Abe obliterating bloodsuckers with an axe.


The fight scenes are a sight to behold and every element of film is used to enhance the action. We have great use of sound (albeit loud and obvious sometimes), slow motion and fast motion and even color takes an active role. We can see the obvious cooling and warming of shots, the isolation of colors, but the symbolism of color draining (like blood) is a marvelous touch. The visual respect for film matches the respect for the subject matter.


Throughout the movie, I kept thinking ‘They didn’t have to go that far’, but really- that pursuit of quality is what saves Vampire Killer from being a quickly forgotten b-movie. I believe they purposely walked the line of historical fiction and period piece drama as events in the movie closely follow history and Lincoln’s personal story.


I liked it, I liked it, I liked it. This is one for the shelves even though every time I reach for it, I’ll have to tell my company “It’s good, trust me, it’s good.” Well done. I’m not a movie critic; I’m just critiquing a movie.

  1. November 26, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Reblogged this on Rapper's Delite.

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