Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)
The Cynic here, with my first truly ‘negative nancy’ review of the year. Not because this film was the first one thus far to rub me the wrong way, but because it was the first one to actually upset me enough to want to bitch about it. So here goes, read it or not, it’s your choice.
Critique: Before I begin, allow me to explain that I am a huge Fanger. I love vampire novels, stories, movies, TV shows, and I love them to death. So when I find one that just completely fucks up the original lore and makes the myth itself into a joke, I challenge it to no end. This was the case (dare I say, ‘war’) with the Twilight franchise. It turned the vampire lore into a big pathetic gay joke that even George Takei himself cringed at the sight of. Oddly enough, that was NOT the case here. Other than the vampires walking around in direct sunlight with no explanation to that effect whatsoever, I didn’t really find all that much to complain about regarding the lore/mythos of Vampire.
No, what I did find to complain about here was pretty much every single thing else in this film, from the history, the story, the pacing, the special effects and more importantly, the visual effects. Honestly, was this film shot on camcorders? The visuals were God awful. It was like I fell asleep and dreamt this movie, it was that bad. So where to begin? Where to start, and what to discuss? I guess I’ll save the best for last, so let’s go with the first thing on my list; The Story. It was horribly written, period. It was just not well planned out, which isn’t asking much seeing as were it got its source material from, but still. It should have been handled better. I didn’t feel the presence of Lincoln and who he was until well after he became President, which was damn near half way through the movie.
And the story between Mary Todd and Abraham was just horribly put together. They were the most important people in each other’s lives, and they turned her into a side character only allowed to show up just to acknowledge that she was still alive Hell, Mary Elizabeth Winsted was the only breath of fresh air in this film (and that’s not just because I think she’s totally beautiful). The backstory on the vampires were poorly written, and though it wasn’t a complete foul up on the lore itself, I feel like they just gave the quick history lessons that it did to get past it and move on to the rest of the movie, which was a total failure right there, because when you watch a vampire movie it’s not about the action, but about the history of said vampires. You don’t gage the kind of characters they are by the people they present themselves to be in the story NOW; you gage the kind of characters they are by the history in which they’ve lived from their first kill to their introduction in the story. That was completely absent here, and it was clearly noticed by a Fanger like me.
And fast forwarding through the whole of the Civil War just to show off Gettysburg? That was just a horrible choice by whoever wrote this and made me feel like they thought me an idiot that wouldn’t recognize any other Civil War skirmishes other than the main ones. Anyway, let’s move on to the next thing on my list that plagued me; the Special Effects. There isn’t much to say here other than; it sucked. It totally and completely sucked. And when that vampire threw a fraking horse at Lincoln, I swear that every single person in the theater must have heard me laugh my ass off. It was just, that whole scene was horribly, horribly done. I honestly do not understand how movies are made these days. How can certain movies with little budget end up with amazing special effects, while other films with huge budgets give birth to such garbage? Seriously, I don’t get it.
Next up… demanding to know exactly why they chose to make this film using footage that made it look like it was all shot on 1980s camcorders. Yes, next up is the Visual Effects, people. Suffice to say; it fucking sucked, and unless I kept my eyes completely open as wide as possible and continuously drank from my drink, I would have thought myself asleep having a nightmare that I was watching ALVH instead of Brave, playing right next door. Unfortunately, every time I slapped myself I realized that nope, I was still awake and still here watching. Did they do it to get that classic 1800s feel? Maybe try and take us into their little twisted world where one of our greatest Presidents was in fact, a man who only became the Commander in Chief to slay a few hundred southern vampires? No? Whatever the case, it was a piss-poor choice and I did not like it.
Alright, I need to close because I’m only finding more disgust here. So with that, I give you the last straw, the main complaint, the one thing that just made me cringe with shame; the History of Abraham Lincoln. First the book, now a movie, soon to be common knowledge by young folk who will grow up to write essays in high school that’ll be read by teachers who will crap themselves then quit their jobs out of a loss of respect for mankind and their fellow Americans. To think that this – a movie – could have that kind of impact, downright terrifies me to no end. I’d spew some line about Abraham Lincoln rolling over in his grave, but someone might end up commenting back that he might not be in there, because he could be a vampire. Yeah, go fuck yourselves.
My Final Say (that will never, fucking, change): 4/10