Living Among Us

Vampires have just made themselves public. Now a group of documentarians has been granted access to learn how they live and coexist with humans. But as reality sets in, the crew realize their very lives are in danger.

Imagine a world… where the vampires who have been lurking among us come out of the shadows to attempt normal, productive lives. Writer/director Brian A. Metcalf did in his new film Living Among Us. Here we see an approach to the idea that is refreshingly grounded as it explores such questions as “Where would vampires get their blood if they were living legit?” and “Does a cross really bother the undead?” Unfortunately, it can’t help falling into the inevitable clichés that bloodsucker fans have come to expect. Oh, and did I mention this was a hybrid found footage/traditional movie?

Vampires have come out of the coffin and the world is learning how to absorb this blood-sucking minority. As the world is coming to terms with the idea and a trepidatious news crew lead by reporter Mike (Thomas Ian Nicholas), has been invited to stay a weekend at the home of high-ranking vamps Andrew (John Heard) and Ellanor (Esmé Bianco) to learn a bit more about their lifestyle. Along for the ride are Mike’s associates, Carrie (Jordan Hinson) and Rick (Travis Aaron Wade).

“Vampires have come out of the coffin and the world is learning how to absorb this blood-sucking minority…”

Their awkward visit begins with the vampires presenting them with dinner of antiseptically plated meat, carb, and vegetables. Andrew and Ellanor sit opposite them and discuss the weekend agenda. It seems that the head of the local chapter of Haemophilus, Samuel (William Sadler) will be joining them for a visit oh and then there is the suave roommate Blake (Andrew Keegan) who is eager to impress and connect. Everything is delightfully stilted and awkward so as to very clearly telegraph to the audience that somethin’ ain’t right.

Every addition to the vampire mythos seems to bring its own rules or variations therein. Metcalf does a commendable job establishing his and setting up our expectations in that regard, but there is so much more wrong with this movie that we get lost in the quagmire of a so-so indie pic.

“…performances are a good…with Heard feasting on the scenery…”

Shot in what appears to be a model tract home with minimal furnishings, Living Among Us seems to have the agenda by getting us to approach an emerging minority with well-placed suspicion. Our news crew agrees to stay with these monsters who appear to make every attempt at courtesy and assimilation, only to have them show their true, monstrous colors. The lesson; A bridge cannot be built.

I am betting that Metcalf had no such intention in mind as he quickly jumps into the horror tropes we have all come to know and love, the holy water, the sunlight, etc. The performances are a good to fair mix with Heard feasting on the scenery around him and Keegan having almost too much twitchy swagger for a guy who isn’t snorting cocaine. Or is he?

Okay, so really, Living Among Us pulls off a serviceable vampire flick on a shoestring budget and it occasionally works. Total direct to VOD territory, but worth the background noise.

Living Among Us (2018) Written and directed by Brian A. Metcalf. Starring William Sadler, Jordan Hinson, Esmé Bianco, Andrew Keegan, Thomas Ian Nicholas, John Heard

6 out of 10

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