By James Teitelbaum | February 21, 2009

As this super-cheapo vampire flick opens, a high school young-Republican fratboy type is snared and inducted into a coven of vampires. As the vamps go about doing vampirish things (killing people, drinking blood, arguing amongst themselves) a high school hipster hippie couple, their unlikely ROTC pal, a goth girl, and some fraternity jerks become involved with the vampires. Some of them fight vampires, some of them become vampires, and some of them are stalked by sexy vampires with deep California sun tans (not the best bit of casting there).

A fair amount of the running time is spent setting up the relationships and conflicts between the kids; it is more than forty-five minutes before the inevitable bloodbath begins (or threatens to begin – the violence in this film is far less than what one would expect). Spending this much time on character is an effective and wise move – the more we get to know these kids, the more intense their peril becomes, and the more we care when they are offed. So many horror filmmakers just don’t get the importance of setting up good characters before slaughtering them. The lead “teen” cast members do seem to have some chemistry, particularly Allison Lange as Jayne and A.J. Draven as Will (both in their thirties in real life).

On the other hand, the vampire characters (lead by Tony Todd as Julien) are silly and over the top, but what do you expect; not every contemporary vampire film can be “Let The Right One In”. Were you to bring this film into your home, I’d go as far as to say you’d be letting the wrong one in.

The film is almost competently (I said “almost”) assembled if tired in subject.

If thirty-year-old “teenagers” versus vampires is your thing, then proceed.

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