A couple of New Orleans policeman get caught up in the nasty world of vampire clans as they search for a missing child. In order to guarantee their own protection they must agree to help take down the Moldero clan.
There really is a nice idea somewhere within Vampire Wars, but the concept is just not executed well enough to be entertaining or interesting. The mix of mythical horror and crime realism should be a solid starting ground for creating something unique and unpredictable. However, Vampire Wars is filled with far too many predictable horror tropes which prevent it from soaring above the heights of an average horror flick. It never really finds it footing between the world of horror and the world of a crime-drama, and spends its runtime jumping between one side to the other, rather than blending the two in a seamless narrative.
The vampires themselves are your typical bloodsuckers; regular pretty people with spooky-looking contact lenses and fake fangs. There is no real deviation from the expected idea of a vampire here, which is a shame. They have the ability to control minds, so it’s easy for them to persuade people to put a bullet in their brain – and maybe it’s my fault for having watched Marvel’s brilliant Jessica Jones lately – but, even this is not impressive. They sit around with their moody expressions in candlelit rooms, dressed in black and act more like a gang of goths than a clan of vampires.
The first crime that Vampire Wars commits is taking itself far too seriously. With a story such as this at the film’s core, it should have known when it would be suitable to let loose and have a little fun. Instead, it plods along like an overly-long and overly-serious episode of C.S.I – and not a good one – with a few vampires thrown in to give it a bit of an edge. Sadly, even this addition of quite sexy vampire ladies and gents cannot save Vampire Wars from being a bit of a snore.
A horror film should know when to use music to heighten atmosphere, increase tension or encourage a scare, but Vampire Wars is actually hindered by its music choices. Rather than create a sense of foreboding as I imagine it was intending, the constant stream of non-diegetic sound becomes a distraction and makes the film feel like a cheesy TV show from the ’90s, rather than a horror film from 2015.. There are many moments that would have benefited from allowing the action on-screen to speak for itself, instead of having harsh music dominate every scene. The film itself is actually shot rather nicely, but maybe there is a lack of confidence in the film’s surface that has lead to this over-use of sound.
The film’s moody atmosphere and grey colour palette does well to emphasise the darkness that suffocates the storyline. It is not the most subtle of visual choices, but it does suit the overwhelming sense of foreboding and fear Vampire Wars tries to conjure within itself. Vampire Wars may be pleasant to look at, but that’s as far as the praise will go, sadly. It’s filled with far too many cliches to be entertaining and there’s not enough surprises to keep you interested. It follows its path in a perfectly fine manner, but ‘fine’ just is not enough.
All in all, Vampire Wars is a disappointing and forgettable low-budget flick that has far too many problems to be recommended. From its cliched script to its overall uninspiring presentation of vampire mythology, the hardest battle is for the audience to finish the film, not between the vampires who are at each other’s necks.
Words: Jessy Williams (@JessyCritical)