Lost Boys VS Stranger Things
Vampires vs. the Bronx feels more like The Lost Boys VS Stranger Things. Combining elements from both, this horror/comedy mash-up falls straight into the realm of mediocrity.
There’s certainly some positives to be had here though, namely from the humour and good-natured fun of the title, but it’s also incredibly basic and doesn’t do anything we haven’t seen before in this medium.
In keeping with what’s going on in the world right now, Vampires vs. the Bronx interweaves a simple vampire tale around class and social commentary. At times this does overpower the picture but mostly it actually works quite well to give the film some substance.
The plot revolves around three young teens – Miguel, Luis and Bobby – who start to realize something weird is going on with their town. Shops and businesses are closing up and a wealthy businessman named Frank Polidori has arrived to monopolize the Bronx. Coinciding with this are a string of not-suspicious-at-all missing people reports that form the backbone for our story.
As this 80 minute picture progresses, the truth about what’s happening is revealed and – as the title suggests – it causes a war to break out between the vampires and those living within the Bronx.
The story itself is pretty average, leaning heavy on the vampire cliches of old. There’s holy water, garlic, stakes and even the typical montage segment for our characters explaining how to defeat these undead monstrosities. These moments are pretty good though and try to channel Shaun Of The Dead vibes to really lean into the humour.
Sometimes this works really well but other times it misses the mark completely. The social themes – while topical and important – can actually undermine the humour somewhat at times. It’s a bit of a shame too because for the most part, this horror/comedy mash-up does well to present the vampires as a credible threat. At least for the first half of the movie.
Around the midway point things turn from bizarre to incredulous as various residents get involved in the action. The ease at which people believe vampires are running around is one of the biggest gripes I have with this movie.
I know that sounds ridiculous given the movie is literally about vampires, but this one is crying out for an extra 10-15 minutes to allow some of the weaker characterization time to beef out a bit.
When the movie allows its teen cast to hit the spotlight, the characters really do shine. There’s a definite attempt to borrow the geeky chemistry from Stranger Things. Sometimes this works quite well but a cliched and tired “friend fall-out” trope pops up and is predictably resolved not long after.
Unfortunately, the final stand-off loses some of the initial charm that the early points of this film had in abundance too. The main ensemble feel slightly lost in the shuffle and the rushed “Two Weeks Later” segment at the end feels a little unnecessary.
Despite its flaws, Vampires vs. the Bronx is a decent enough movie if you fancy something light and not too challenging. Fans of the genre will find all the tropes inherent here and the movie loses points for its second half descent into manic chaos.
This is a very simple film and while it may have the fangs to pierce your skin, it doesn’t have enough to draw blood and make this a killer title in the genre.