Saturday, June 30, 2012

Log Cabins sans Stakes

A Review of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

You can pretty much count on movie posters being misleading when it comes to plot these days.

Mrs. Obscure wanted to see Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter more than Brave, so we went to see it last night.  (I'm still hoping for Brave before the weekend is through.)  While the schtick of the Grahame-Smith industry has worn a little thin with me, I was curious.  After all, I'm a sucker for period pieces, it is alternate history and fantasy, and it's got vampires.

  • Visually well done in general
  • Constant action (don't come if your in the mood for anything else)
  • New actors do fine overall (exception below).  
  • More Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  Yay!
  • Rufus Sewell doesn't overpower the characters of new actors as injudicious use of him easily could have.  Makes a fine villain.
  • Some nice details: new vampire killing tool and combining vampiric enslavement trope with Southern slavery (though rather imperfectly)
  • Thin plot.  Only a series of hooks keep the thin line from disintegrating.  Don't breathe hard in the cinema, though.
  • I hate exaggerated action without in-story verisimilitude.  (Did you forget to mention that they are superheroes or something?)  You've got to give me something to turn off my realistic-demanding switch.  Things vampires can do, humans shouldn't be able to.
  • The farcical nature of the story comes out in the lines.The young actors are promising and I'm glad to see new folks get work, but I think the actors (and certainly the young actors) that could play this straight and make us believe it are in the minority.  Rufus Sewell, however, is (and was) in that number, but it is easier for the villains than the heroes, anyway.  Attempts to elevate the film to heroic moments struggle.
  • Add another to the long line of 3D movies that do not capitalize on the medium as they should.  Why are we still getting so few (visually) great 3D pictures?
  • Even though the screenplay is based on Seth Grahame-Smith's own book, the writing is not as good as his other recent vampire flick: Dark Shadows.  Or do the stable of expensive, more experienced actors fool me?
In sum, it's not a terrible picture.  It's not unwatchable.  The spectacle (visuals + action) kept my attention and moved me along to the end without too many interruptions to allow the brain to analyze the film's failings.   


  1. As I've only seen folks say things like "loved it!"I was truly hoping for a detailed review like. Thanks!

  2. Do yourself a favor and see Brave. It's a definite return-to-form for Pixar.

  3. Lemme just add to my list of things Mike's been right about...