HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Blonde. Purple
Dirty Ho
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
   
 
Newest Articles
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
   
 
  Dead & Beautiful A Vampire By Any Other Name
Year: 2021
Director: David Verbeek
Stars: Aviis Zhong, Gijs Blom, Yen Tsao, Anna Marchenko, Philip Juan
Genre: Horror, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: These five friends are all rich kids, sons and daughters of billionaires who live off daddy's money and find life very easy, especially in this location of Taiwan which welcomes the well-off. But something has been bothering them recently: maybe life is too easy, and they should think about a challenge; to that end, they have been staging what they call turns, that is, adventures for them all to embark on for a night, just to stave off the boredom which threatens their contentment. Lulu Wong (Aviis Zhong) has been unimpressed by one of their number, Bin-Ray (Philip Juan) staging his own wake, but believes she has the very idea to keep things fresh. She will invite her pals out to the woods, where a shaman is waiting, and a ceremony can begin.

Here was a vampire movie that was certain to divide opinion, there were no two ways about it, you either went with this big twist or you did not, and if you did not, you would be scoffing at the characters' reactions and the whole set-up, once exposed by the last act. That's not to say it wasn't guessable, more that you might not expect it to go that far in sustaining its premise and doing what it did to the players involved, in a manner that was not unlike the David Fincher and Michael Douglas team up The Game from the nineteen-nineties. But this was truly a twenty-twenties movie, and that meant social conscience and commentary from the filmmakers, chiefly the director and writer, Dutchman in the Far East David Verbeek, who appeared to be the guiding hand.

He had a sure grasp on his visuals, that much was certain, presenting a selection of too cool for school neon-drenched scenes and shots that showed off Taiwan to its best advantage, at least if you were someone who was able to afford the opulence on display. Yet even there, that involved inhabiting a lot of fashionably empty spaces, roomy rooms where you can see the vistas of the city and country beyond from the vantage point of the tall windows letting the light in, or that aforementioned neon light in. It was reminiscent of Tony Scott's eighties cult favourite The Hunger in its dedication to style over substance, yet there was substance here too, as mentioned an observational technique as applied to the super-rich that quietly condemned them for where they accumulated all that money and power, basically by buying up everything they could and bleeding the land dry.

Though what of the vampirism? A simple metaphor was not going to be enough for horror fans, so Lulu's stunt sees them passing out in the forest only to awaken with the shaman mysteriously dead (two puncture wounds in neck - check) and all five of them strangely different. For a start, they all have grown fangs in the vampire tradition, so any one of them could have offed the holy man (we're back at the metaphor), and now are wondering if they have to spend the rest of eternity drinking blood to sustain themselves. Will they even see the sunlight again? Or are they not that kind of vampire? Where does the folklore end and the reality begin, anyway? The answers to those are kind of explained, but maybe not really, by that twist which may feel like a trick on the audience as much as anyone in the film, meaning the commentary may be the strongest aspect, given you could, ahem, get your teeth into the cynicism at the heart of the matter more than you could the parts that were intended to be a horror movie. You either settled into its languid pacing and appearance, or you wanted something more energetic - but weren't vampires pretty decadent anyway? Music by Rutger Reinders.

[Shudder, AMC Networks' premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, will premiere vampire thriller Dead & Beautiful, Thursday, November 4 2021 in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 203 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: