In the dead of the night Josh (Josh Plasse) makes his way into a movie theatre, shirtless and covered in blood. Begging the staff to call the police, Josh flees and tries to escape his pursuer by car. As he attempts to make a getaway, he crashes into Ariel’s (Emma Holzer) car and worried her life is in danger, he pleads with her to go on the run with him. Heading across the North American desert, the two strangers come together in an attempt to outwit an unstoppable supernatural force.
There’s No Such Thing As Vampires is the latest film from director Logan Thomas, who co-wrote the screenplay with Aric Cushing. Opening with quite the bang, the film wastes no time throwing the audience into the action. The first 20 minutes or so are so frantic, that Thomas grabs your attention and keeps a tight grip. You’ll be wondering what’s going on and trying to figure out exactly what Josh is trying to outrun. Of course, there are plenty of clues along the way if you look hard enough.
Once Josh meets Ariel, things start to slow down a little. The film allows itself to breathe and build a proper narrative but I wish it had just kept up its initial pace. There’s something thrilling about those opening 20 minutes that had me thinking that this could be the film the horror genre needs to breathe some new life into it. Despite the change of pace though, the film still has plenty to offer and while the plot may become more and more convoluted, you do find yourself invested in what happens to Josh and Ariel.
Director Thomas is very good at grabbing the bull by the horns and charging but he falls down when it comes to really developing the plot or the characters. Aside from Josh and Ariel, you won’t remember a single character once the credits arrive. That’s a shame as there are some decent supporting performances but the characters never become more than two dimensional.
Josh Plasse and Emma Holzer make for a good central couple. You may fully believe the way their relationship changes over the course of the film but both actors commit to the material. It takes a brave actor to run around shirtless and still hope you’ll take him seriously in a horror movie but Plasse somehow manages. Holzer on the other hand has all the makings of a traditional final girl so you root for her from the moment she appears on screen.
There’s No Such Thing As Vampires start off as a whole lot of fun but it does sadly lose steam and momentum in the second half. The high-energy opening is replaced with a clumsily unfolding story that I’m not convinced makes complete sense. Still I found myself enjoying the film far more than I expected and I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes something of a cult classic. With some great visual effects, a couple of familiar face cameos and a pedal-to-the-metal opening, there’s much to admire. I just wish the film had maintained the energy it began with.
Cast: Emma Holzer, Josh Plasse, Meg Foster, Raphael Sbarge, Aric Cushing Director: Logan Thomas Writers: Aric Cushing, Logan Thomas Certificate: 18 Duration: 81 mins Released by: Ascent Releasing