A High School Girl like Any Other
I’m A Monster
Your Old Life Is Gone Now
One Blood, One Rule, One Mother
Everything is Possible in This World
The Alpha and the Omega
Dracula remains one of the most iconic figures in Gothic horror. The novel itself is a fantastically creepy and nightmarish descent into the world of vampires and since then, both literature and media has been obsessed with bringing these blood-sucking fiends to a new audience, seemingly every generation. Netflix Original Vampires is the latest in a long, long list of titles in this genre and aside from the glitzy underbelly of Paris being depicted, the series itself has little redeeming features that make it worth picking up.
The story itself revolves around Doina, a girl who lives in a strict household at the hands of her Mother, Martha, and is forced to take pills to suppress her vampire genes. When she decides to rebel against her Mother (who’s involved in her own bitter rivalry with old friend Csilla and her vampire clan) what follows is a 6 episode descent into cliched tropes that takes all the usual elements you’d expect from coming of age dramas, and vampire stories like this. All of this builds up to the proverbial cherry on the cake – the trademark Netflix cliffhanger at the end of the final episode.
While the story does have some good elements and there’s plenty of violence, bloodshed and nudity along the way, the plot feels very cliched and you’ll likely guess the ending from the opening few episodes, given the emphasis certain topics or characters are given. I won’t spoil anything of course but suffice to say the series leaves plenty of plot left unresolved and it does make for a rather unsatisfying conclusion. Whether you’ll make it that far or not though, remains to be seen.
Much like Kirsten Stewart in Twilight, French actress Oulaya Amamra doesn’t do a great job portraying Doina. While it’s understandable that some of the traits like the early-season suppression would be used to hold some emotion back, it’s a constant hindrance right the way through the series. Midway through the show, for example, Doina is brought to the Matriach and this exchange, which should be creepy, subsequently falls into mediocre waters thanks to the acting.
Stylistically, the series tries to play off the neo-noir elements of other grimy, almost cyberpunk-esque series with plenty of neon lights throughout but Vampires does this to questionable effect. Some of the scenes feel cheaply made, with blood, point of view shots and even heavy saturation creeping into the series. Oh, and there’s a bizarre dance scene that feels like it’s been ripped right from a music video too.
Even the name of this series fails to ilicit much in the way of originality or creativity. Vampires is quite simply a show that takes all the usual cliches you’d expect in both teen dramas and vampire-driven horrors and blends them together into a below-average package that fails to stand out. It doesn’t suck as much as the third episode of Dracula earlier this year but it’s certainly far from the blood-sucking heights of other, more prolific, offerings in this genre.
Verdict - 3.5/10