Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Zombillénium – review

Directors: Arthur de Pins & Alexis Ducord

Release date: 2017

Contains spoilers

Based on a graphic novel series by Arthur de Pins, this French animation tore me slightly – I recognised the fact that it was limited in character development and didn’t seem to know whether it wanted to be aimed at families or adults (some of the industrial aspects probably would go over a child’s head for instance) but at the same time I rather enjoyed it for what it was.

It certainly made me want to read the graphics – but I also get the feeling that they will make the film somewhat disappointing, just from the blurbs they seem more involved. However, having not read them as I write this, I am looking at the film without the distraction of prior knowledge.

Lucy with Hector
The film starts with Hector driving a car with his daughter Lucy. Hector’s wife had died and he is taking Lucy to her boarding school – where she stays over the week whilst he works. She sees a billboard for theme park Zombillénium and asks whether she can go to it – when Hector gets a work call. It is from a colleague saying that the workers at a factory they are going to demolish are protesting. Hector is a safety inspector and says the factory isn’t up to spec and it has to go – he drops Lucy off mid-call, agreeing the trip to Zombillénium.

arrive at the park
As he drives off, a skateboard blur that seems to fly swoops past the car and he crashes (later we discover that this is Gretchen, a witch and intern at Zombillénium, who has a skateboard attached to her broomstick). A shaken Hector goes to a café and is told that she’ll be from Zombillénium and decides to launch a surprise safety inspection and heads to the park where he is met by park manager Francis Von Bloodt. Hector manages to sneak off, takes an employee elevator and finds a hidden floor button – the elevator takes him to Hell.

Francis
So, the background was actually given during this sequence and over the credits. The site was a mine years before and the miners actually broke through to Hell and were killed and zombified for their trouble. The park was later built over the site and is staffed by monsters. We later discover that Francis convinced Satan to back his plan for an Earth based business where monsters could live – but promised a financial investment return and the park is struggling. However, in the here and now he has to take care of the human who has stumbled onto the secret.

a low-rent Hellboy?
We see Lucy at a cemetery – her father is dead and she has to remain (as an orphan) at the school. Hector, meanwhile, awakens. As well as being bitten by Francis – a vampire – he has been bitten by a werewolf and they wait to see what he’ll become. Unfortunately he seems to be an ordinary zombie and is put to work on the cotton candy stall. As the film moves on, he morphs more and more into a demon – there is no explanation of how this occurs but let’s just go with it (and enjoy the Hellboy comment).

Steven sparkles
He quickly discovers there is a hierarchy at the park – with zombies at the bottom end and the vampires lording it over them – Victor alone is open to monster equality, the other vampires, including main vampire Steven, are not. Steven is drawn with a “Cullen” look and actually sparkles at times, whilst all the other vampires (bar Francis) are goths and emos. We also discover that vampires invented the garlic myth and can turn into bats. Steven entertains people on the Ferris wheel as a heartthrob but the scary side of the park is struggling. Hector, of course, turns that around as well as befriending skeleton union leader Sirius. However when humans come to invest in the park, Steven hatches a plot to take over, make it a romantic vampire theme for the whole park and get rid of the lower class workers.

Cerberus
It is that industrial aspect that kids just aren’t going to get – worker exploitation, in line with the Marxist depiction of “Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks”. Venture capitalists undermining the things they touch, spoiling the artistic concept, and rejecting the workers (sending them into Hell to push *the* wheel in endless exploitative torment). At this point, as an aside, can I mention Cerberus guarding the damned souls on the wheel depicted as having one of the three dogs heads as a yappy dog was genius. Beyond the aside, there was an interesting political/economic allegory going on that just didn’t feel comfortable with its place in a family animation.

explaining the garlic myth 
The same allegory saw the clash between scary monsters and romantic monsters and the conclusion (spoiler, but obvious) that the punters actually want scary monsters even though they seem to have fallen for a romantic vampire narrative. The film didn’t build the primary characters enough, however, whether this was family entertainment or more adult. I liked the animation style but, in keeping with the family side, it was fairly bloodless (making the scary monster vs sanitised/romantic side ironic in many respects). The theme of child abuse (the teacher is outright abusive to Lucy and locks kids in cupboards generally) is never satisfactorily resolved. On that adult/family dichotomy, having Satan actively involved (we don’t see him, but see his shadow, hear him and see fire belch out of monitors/phones when he calls) was a brave move but one that further obscured who the vehicle’s target audience was.

Gretchen using her powers
All that said, I did enjoy this for what it was; I do want to try out the graphic novels at some point and suspect that they will gear more towards adult audiences and build characters (and play with the political economic themes) that much more. My enjoyment of the film makes me want to give it 6 out of 10 but suspect its generous.

The imdb page is here.

On Blu-Ray @ Amazon US

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Short film: Love, Death & Robots: Sucker of Souls


Love, Death & Robots is an anthology series – based primarily around sci-fi – in which each short episode is animated. It was a Netflix original, with season 1 premiering in 2019 and this 13 minute animation was the fifth episode. Many of the episodes were done in computer animation but this was done in more traditional cartoon style.

It follows Dr Wehunt (Michael Benyaer) as he explores a tomb – with mercenaries accompanying him, led by Flynn (Fred Tatasciore), and as we start the episode we see the two men running down a corridor chased by... something.

attack
The episode goes back in time and we see a bored Flynn sitting close by as Wehunt and his assistant Simon (Scott Whyte) crawl into a tomb area and Simon translates writing at the entrance of the tomb. It states that entombed there is the “devourer of children, the black Prince, the sucker of souls…” Simon is still checking the inscriptions when a fanged, red eyed man (also Fred Tatasciore) descends from the ceiling. The young archaeologist runs but it gets him and feeds before slicing him in half.

the impaler
By the time it turns to Flynn and Wehunt it has transformed into a giant demonic beast, Flynn radios to his team, Gary (Laura Waddell) and Micky (Jonathan Cahill), to prep the weapons as they’re coming in hot. As they are cornered Wehunt states “It’s him… the impaler… Dracula…” and admits that he didn’t think they’d find him alive. Flynn’s bullets rip through the beast but it heals immediately and grabs him – he is about to eat the mercenary when a cat wanders up and the monster drops Flynn and backs away.

monstrous form
This is a great piece of ‘new’ lore. Wehunt explains that Dracula hates cats and feeding on them would make his flesh burn. He suggests that locals would torment the vampire by bringing cats to his fortress. I put ‘new’ in inverted commas because the idea of cats and vampires being enemies has been used before, for example, both in Sleepwalkers and Let the Right One In, however the concept that feeding on them will burn vampiric flesh is new. Flynn holds the cat up as a weapon and the vampire flees.

Dracula
They get through to the team but they are trapped… will they escape? Well I’ll just say that there might be more than one – that Draculas plural is the order of the day (whilst the first encountered is the impaler, this is another example of Dracula becoming a vampire type) and there is a cracking joke about impalers and Impalas (the character Gary is wonderful and it is her response to the word confusion that made me chuckle). This is a great little animation in a fantastic series – well worth watching it all.

The episode's imdb page is here.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Short Film: The Alpha Omega Man

You might remember me looking at the short, no-budget effort Dracula AD 2015? This is another gentle, no-budget spoof/homage to a classic film by director Joshua Kennedy, which was released in 2017 and looks lovingly back through cinematic time to the Omega Man; thanks to Holly who mentioned this to me recently.

It starts with Neville (Joshua Kennedy, Dracula AD 2015) cruising the streets but, rather than in a car he is on a pushbike and this begins an absurdist element to this that works really rather nicely. He stops to shoot at a figure moving through a building and we see the “gun” is a crossbow but post-production effects make it spit bullets as though a gun (similarly handguns are repurposed from other props). It almost makes it that it is a film of someone role-playing the Omega Man.

Neville watches Neville
That could still be the case when he goes a film archive, of course, but there is also a gloriously-post-modern element. Whilst it seems that he watches Woodstock (1970), we suddenly realise that he is actually watching the Omega Man and the scene where Neville watches Woodstock. We get Neville (from this film) voicing the dialogue from Woodstock as voiced by Neville (from the original film). There is the phone ringing moment and the sun is setting but we miss the moment from the original film of the garage attack (the budget probably wouldn’t cut it).

Heston pic
Continuing the post-modern moment, instead of the bust of Caesar wearing his military cap, as his chess adversary, it is a picture of Charlton Heston with the cap placed above the frame. The Family is changed slightly by having Matthias (Kat Kennedy, also Dracula AD 2015) gender swapped, though Brother Zachary (Dexter John Scott) still talks about the “honky paradise” of Neville’s apartment. One difference was making the infected have green blood.

Laura Laureano as Lisa
The character of Lisa (Laura Laureano) is still in place but the other unturned younger characters are not. So Lisa’s character covers all of them and it is her character that has to be cured. In a much more vampiric twist, a family member biting an unturned (or uninfected) person will immediately turn them. The cure, likewise, is an infusion of Neville’s blood rather than a serum made from it.

the family
Probably the must amusing moment in the low budget stakes was the escape from the Family, after Neville is captured. He and Lisa race around the abandoned building except… well they have to pass a canteen, which is in use (I assume it’s a college building and so being used by students). The cast ignore the sudden influx of people into the empty city and we just chuckle, knowing that it has been left in because of the joke (perhaps even deliberately shot that way).

This is a labour of love and the primary cast are having a whale of a time. Plus the vampire element is beefed up by dint of a single bite. The imdb page is here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Kissing Cousins: I am Omega

Let’s get things straight from the get go… I am Omega is not, in any way, shape or form, a vampire film. It is, in the wider sense, a zombie film (the creatures might be infected rather than undead but we aren’t exactly sure). It does have a blood aspect, at the heart of it (that I’ll cover in the article), but completely removes the nocturnal aspect that was a feature of both book and the more mainstream makes. However the reason for looking at it is that it was based directly on I am Legend, citing Matheson within the credits, indeed it was actually released to cash-in on I am Legend (2007) coming out just before the big budget film’s theatrical release. It was directed by Griff Furst.

dead wife
It starts with a ‘prequel’ scene. We see Mrs Renchard (Jennifer Lee Wiggins, Dracula’s Curse) and her son (Joshua Schlegel) racing to leave the house. She gets him in her car when she realises that she has forgotten her keys. A zombie (which seems more mutated than your standard zombie portrayal) bangs on the window and she gets out and beats it back, but the creature swings at her and pushes her forcibly against the windshield killing her. The creature runs off (which is a strange behaviour – whether they aim to feed or propagate, they are not normally portrayed as kill and run). The kid gets out the car and zombie hands grab him from beneath.

killing the zombie
Richard Renchard (Mark Dacascos, Wolvesbayne) wakes with a start and aims his gun into the night. If the intro was a dream, then he has fabricated it from what he believes happened, we assume, as otherwise we need to question what he was doing whilst his family were killed (perhaps we should ask that anyway). Suddenly security lights burn and alarms blare. He goes out and kills several creatures (any trauma that would kill a human seems to be enough to kill them). He gets blood on his hand and cleans it with alcohol (?) as the infection is passed through blood as well as scratches and bites. As we don’t actually see a turn, we don’t know how long it’ll take.

with the mannequin
Back in the house and one thing that is noticeable is the large amount of prescription medication he has. The alarm radio starts playing, talking about the outbreak, but it isn’t plugged in. He repeats “there is no radio” and this is a direct nod to Heston and the telephones in the Omega man, likewise his mannequin seated at the table is like Heston’s Cesare bust. His laptop then starts beeping with an incoming video message. He refuses it (presumably believing it to be another hallucination).

Mark Dacascos as renchard
Richard’s life is dedicated to planting bombs (it’s clear that he was some kind of special forces). He is planting them on gas mains and intends to blow up LA, thus killing large numbers of the creatures. There is a timetable as he fits each bomb with a long-term timer. He also, we notice, suffers from frequent visual hallucinations – seeing zombies were there are none. We also see him checking through stores, training and generally being a lot kooky. It perhaps isn’t as powerful a performance as Smith gives in his vehicle but Dacascos does what he can with the material. Whenever he leaves his home he stamps a time card and says “another day, another dollar” – again referencing Heston – and leaves money at the store before the corpse of the store holder. To some degree this is a wish to reconnect with the lost capitalist past.

Jennifer Lee Wiggins as Brianna
Eventually he gets another video call and answers it but when the woman, Brianna (also Jennifer Lee Wiggins), appears he freaks out and runs out of the house – clearly down to the fact that she looks like his dead wife and he knows he has been hallucinating other things. Eventually he does speak to her, however. She was with a caravan of people heading to Antioch, a survivor colony in the mountains. They got ambushed by zombies and she is the only survivor. She asks if he and his people can help her and he admits there are no people. He refuses to go himself and cuts her off.

Geoff Meed as Vincent
A van arrives and the men inside, Vincent (Geoff Meed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Mike (Ryan Lloyd), claim to be ex-special forces on their way from Antioch to the city to rescue Brianna – she is immune and her blood holds the cure for the disease. They intercepted her broadcast to Richard and also know about his bombs. Richard is sceptical, wary and eventually refuses to help again. He was right to, given that they then blow his house up to force him to help – the reason, because his knowledge of the sewers will help them get into the city easier. I’ll leave the blow-by-blow but do have to spoil the ending.

zombie
Richard gets separated from the soldiers but when they have a re-encounter (at least with one of them) he is shot and Brianna taken. The reason… they don’t want a cure to be found, they think the world is now a Darwinist paradise with pure survival of the fittest and without those darn liberals insisting that care is taken of the sick and infirm etc. So, having established he wouldn’t help save her and knowing the bombs would go off, then why not leave her? And certainly, why not shoot her dead rather than kidnap her so he can rescue her again? That said we are in a world where a man can be shot in both legs and still push a car to bump start it! All-in-all, the logic was thin – but the new societal order, limited to two survivalists as it was, was an interesting take on that described by Matheson.

post apocalyptic lighting
The film is poor, let’s be honest, but it is better than most of the other films made by its production company, the Asylum. Logical faux pas, low numbers of zombies (it never feels like an apocalypse, if we are honest), gunfire and explosions don’t draw hordes, there are close up of guns that are in the wrong scenes and use the wrong model of gun, street lights and building lights still working, forgetting to close and lock doors behind you when escaping zombies… to name but a few of the issues. However it is based on I am Legend so deserved an examination.

The imdb page is here.

On DVD @ Amazon US

On DVD @ Amazon UK

Monday, March 11, 2019

I am Legend as American Myth – review

Author: Amy J Ransom

First published: 2018

The Blurb: Over the decades, Richard Matheson's 1954 novel I Am Legend has spawned a series of iconic horror and science-fiction films, including The Last Man on Earth (1964) starring Vincent Price, The Omega Man (1971) featuring Charlton Heston, and I Am Legend (2007) with Will Smith. Its compelling narrative about the last man on earth struggling to survive a pandemic that has transformed the rest of humanity into monsters has arguably become an American myth. While its core story remains intact, filmmakers have transformed its details over time, their often mixed messages reflecting changing attitudes about race and masculinity in the United States. This reexamination of Matheson's original novel situates its tale of a man's conflicted attitude about killing racialized others within its post-World War II context, engaging the question of post-traumatic stress disorder. It then analyzes in turn the novel's several film adaptations, focusing in particular on producers' choice of actor to bring to life Robert Neville, the last man on earth. Released respectively during the Cold War and the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and then much later in the post-9/11 era, these films reveal America's ongoing struggle with racial conflict and the construction of masculinity.

The review: If you look to the sidebar of the blog you’ll see I list 5 novels as “primary classic literature” and only one is from the 20th century – Richard Matheson’s I am Legend. There is a reason for that; Matheson’s novel impacted the genre in a massive way, it created its own genre (it is arguable that the modern zombie film owes its genesis to the novel) and it is a damn fine book in and of its own right.

This is an academic book that looks at the novel through the lens of American myth and the way it (and the subsequent films) treated the subjects of race and gender (in particular). It is an insightful read and worthwhile. It uses some media studies theories that a more casual reader might not be familiar with – but explains the theories and their use – so be it adaption theory or star theory, the reader will not be lost. As well as the primary three films (the book has four main chapters looking at the novel and then its three primary adaptations in turn) the book also touched on the budget zombie flick I am Omega. I suspect it is entirely reasonable that the book ignored I am Virgin. On the other hand, I would have thought that (whilst not an adaptation) touching on the Star Trek episode Miri (1966) would have been salient when discussing the later Omega Man – as the change to the disease would seem to be a partial adaptation from that (in that there are group of infected children who are not ill but the illness sparks in adolescents/young adults).

I was somewhat confused with the assertion that the Will Smith vehicle only uses religion “tangentially”, especially when the narrative then goes on to list the way it is front and centre (the butterfly symbology is in place from the first scene and the entire plague would seem to be God’s plan, with Neville as the saviour. This takes the Christ aspect from the previous two films to a whole new level). But that was a brief moment where I think the author missed a point and generally I enjoyed her arguments and reasoning. 8 out of 10.

In Paperback @ Amazon US

In Paperback @ Amazon UK

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Rampant – review

Director: Sung-hoon Kim

Release date: 2018

Contains spoilers

Billed as a zombie movie (it isn’t, at most it is zompire) hailing from Korea (with the original title Chang-gwol) this has drawn comparisons with Train to Busan and, despite this being a period piece, the comparison is understandable as Busan was big news and this comes from the same studio. However, if you wanted a comparison it is more like period Korean zombie series Kingdom.

In fact when I saw the trailer there were moments when I thought it was Kingdom – though when you watch you realise that this has more of a fantasy vibe around the fighting and has a light-hearted seam running through it that Kingdom forgoes altogether. Other than that, the setting/time period would seem to be the same, it involves court intrigue and insurrection and both have vampires/zompires/zombies (actually, Kingdom’s creatures are firmly zombies and I’ll come back to that).

soldier turns
So, a group of soldiers attack a western merchant ship and steal a cargo of advanced flintlocks. During the raid one of them is bitten but the attacker is pulled off and he manages to stagger away and get back to shore with his compatriots. Back in his village the soldier looks very unwell and is incredibly hungry and thirsty. That night he turns, eats his child and attacks his wife – the infection has begun.

infected sailor
Going back in time the merchant ship had been met by the representative of a group of conspirators who intend to take the country and throw off the allegiance to the Qing Dynasty by purchasing the new flintlocks, which will give the conspirators an edge. There is an infected sailor in the boat locked away to see if he will turn or live (clearly he later turned and we eventually discover this was inevitable). The conspirators ask for time to purchase the weapons and it is the (uninvolved in the conspiracy but power hungry) Chancellor’s men who later raid the ship.

Hyun Bin as Lee Chung
The king actually discovers the conspiracy and it turns out that it is the Crown Prince (Tae-woo Kim) who leads the conspirators – he commits suicide. However he has sent a letter to his brother, Lee Chung (Hyun Bin), who is currently enjoying the hospitality of the Qing Dynasty, to come home and take his pregnant wife to safety. He does return home but finds the outlying town in chaos as the people battle the night demons without royal assistance. The chancellor sends assassins after him but he fights them off with help from a group of roguish warriors. The film then follows him as he is fitted with the mantle of leader – something he does not want, preferring to remain the playboy – as the Chancellor consolidates his power and the king is bitten and succumbs to the infection.

beginning to smoke
Now, as for the night demons, they are so called as they only come out at night. When I watched Kingdom I was tempted to look at the series under “Vamp or Not?” because they only moved at night and seemed to revert back to a death state in the day – unfortunately a twist (that, for me, didn’t really work) changed that at the end – they had got the causality wrong. In this case the infected burn in sunlight – our first big vampire aspect.

concubine turned
The eyes go clouded grey and they develop fangs/sharp teeth. They are described as ripping the flesh to drink the blood and the smell of blood will draw them. Once bitten the period of time to turning varies. To kill, it is pierce the head or heart but burning the remains also, just to make sure. We see them climb walls into the rafters as the day breaks and so wonder they don’t climb after the hero at a crux moment later. Yet moments like that can be ignored as this is an action adventure with martial arts and a little continuity glitch like that means little.

expert archer
The court intrigue parts are there but they are not heavily concentrated on compared to the similar series. However, whilst the series has swordplay, it has little on this with our hero a veritable whizz with his sword, the primary female heroine an expert archer in this rather than the nurse in Kingdom. Comparisons are inevitable but this really does have a different timbre; in the series the Crown Prince has a serious bodyguard, in this the Prince hero has a comedy companion. This, in short, is fun. 7.5 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Vamp or Not? Aterrados

Aterrados (or Terrified) was a 2018 film hailing from Argentina and directed by Demián Rugna. The film takes a haunted house (or houses) premise and does some interesting things with it. There is an argument to be had that it could have gone further, that as it shifted vision from haunting to something else it might have flipped itself into Clive barker territory (more) or even a Lovecraftian territory.

It was mentioned to me by Leila as she had been told about it and it was suggested that there was a blood element (which there is) but is that blood element enough to draw it into the vampire genre? Let’s see.

It starts with Clara (Natalia Señorales) at her sink, she thinks he can hear something gurgling (it sounds like to us) in the pipes. Later when her partner Juan (Agustín Rittano) gets home he talks about this and that (including the mysterious survival of a dog he ran over). He realises there is no dinner cooking and asks if she changed her mind. She replies she couldn’t cook as she heard voices in the kitchen who said they were going to kill her.

killed by the invisible
They go to bed and Juan awakens with Clara not in the bed. He doesn’t really comment on that as he can hear banging and assumes it is his neighbour Walter (Demián Salomón). He bangs on the wall but the noise doesn’t stop and eventually he goes to the neighbour’s house and starts pressing the intercom to no avail. He returns home and realises that the banging is not coming from Walter’s but the bathroom, where water is running. He goes in and sees Clara floating over the bath being thrown wall to wall, blood everywhere and she likely dead…

Elvira Onetto as Albreck
It’s a great opening and sets the scene. Juan is, of course, arrested, but he is approached by three investigators (in the hospital or jail he is in); Jano Mario (Norberto Gonzalo), Mora Albreck (Elvira Onetto) and Rosentock (George L. Lewis). They believe him innocent, show him a picture of a similar occurrence in America and then our story goes back in time to look at events centred on Walter. As we meet him he is at work, scared and exhausted and being given the run around by Albreck’s secretary who asks him to call back the next day.

its under the bed
I won’t point by point the plot but will cover some salient parts. Walter is being haunted by a being who, apparently, lives under his bed. Indeed we see him look under the bed, nothing being there, and then as he lies back down the viewer sees the humanoid figure. When refused by Albreck’s secretary again, and told he needs proof, he buys a camera with night vision and actually captures the entity on film. The encounter leaves him screaming in agony…

moments before
The next day a young boy runs into his yard to retrieve his ball. Whilst there he drinks from an external faucet. Walter shouts, from behind blinds, for the boy to leave. He backs away into the path of a bus. Flipping forward, we get a brief glimpse of people returning from the boy's funeral and then his mother, Alicia (Julieta Vallina), hears something outside the house. There are small muddy handprints and footprints. Alicia had a relationship with a cop named Funes (Maximiliano Ghione). He is called by the patrol who attended the house and he calls retired forensics expert Jano. In the dinning room, sat statue like is the rotting corpse of Alicia’s son – the cops swear that they saw it move.

the restless dead
The boy has ripped fingers, where he has scratched at coffin and earth, and Jano recognises what has happened – as a coroner he has witnessed restless corpses before. He arranges for Funes to cover up the event (suggesting Alicia will be locked up as mad) and rebury the corpse. To prevent it walking again Jano suggests concrete – it would have been neat is he had suggested staking the corpse to prevent movement but the idea is the same, prevent the corpse from being restless.

Jano and Funes
So we have had something reminiscent of night time visitations by shadowy persons (Walter’s story) and a restless corpse. The investigators set up shop in the three houses (with Funes). Their hypothesis is that there are two worlds sharing one space and the entities from the other world can cross over through the medium of water and have nested in the three houses. They can use our bodies and this idea of an other-dimensional (or alien) entity brought Lovecraft’s the Shunned House partly to mind.

These beings like blood
What about blood though? Rosentock has a knife penetrate his hand and pin it to the bottom of a kitchen cupboard. He and Funes can hear something slurping and the blood is being sucked up into the cupboard. Rosenstock tells him to clean every trace of blood up and later it is said that “These beings like blood”. The slurping suggests that it is being consumed and the connection is explicit. Reading between the lines, the little boy walked backwards into the bus’ path after consuming water (the medium the entities pass through) and presumably it is they who reanimate his restless corpse as a host. That would make a sense of the restless dead (in this worldview) and it is the entities themselves who like to drink blood. They also like to torture those they take, apparently, and a push through to something out of Clive Barker might have been a natural step as we see a few moment of body horror as the torture is mentioned.

I think this is enough to say they are vampiric beings.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Shudder via Amazon US

On Demand @ Shudder via Amazon UK