Thursday, November 25, 2021

Vampires Are Real 2 – review

Director: J.R. Timothy

Release date: 2021

Contains spoilers

The sequel to Vampires Are Real, like the first film this was improvised and like the first one that improvisation proved to be hit and miss, though I felt this missed more than the first film.

Like the first film, this takes on the format of a mockumentary, with a film crew following the film subjects around – the subjects being the members of a vampire hunting club.

fighting the ghoul

We start with a hunt of, what is revealed to be, a ghoul (Miriah Kessler) by Stewart (J.R. Timothy), who is now a vampire – turned as he was in the first film, and his new vampire hunting partner Lucy (Mary Hall). The ghoul states that Orpheus (Dave Martinez) is going to kill them for the slaying of Neena (the vampire in the last film). Camera operator Tobee is likely to faint and so he is sent behind the tree – conveniently removing the need to do any sfx as the hunters repeatedly stab the unseen ghoul (that includes no blood sfx on the stakes).

giraffe presentation

So, why is Stewart with Lucy – well it seems he and Everritt (Taylor Nielson) have fallen out. Everritt has gotten married, gotten an online degree and when they catch up to him is giving a corporate presentation (though he clearly has not totally moved on as it is about giraffes – one of the 7 kinds of monster in his book). Quickly remembering where his values lie, he goes with the hunters (though he dislikes Lucy immediately and has not reconciled with Stewart).

Orpheus lurks

What was amusing was them getting into the film interview area of their club-house and, whilst they bicker, we see a person moving behind them, peaking out, showing fang but ignored by the cast in the foreground. This is, of course, Orpheus. When they eventually notice him, and run, they are quickly caught and, after some banter, knocked out and taken to be put on trial. Orpheus plays judge, prosecution and defence through this – which may have been improvised but wasn’t truly improv as, clearly, they were shot separately (we don’t watch costume changes) and so he is not riffing off himself.

Stewart and lucy

Especially because of the rift between Stewart and Everritt, there seems less riffing and building the improv generally and more simply improvised bickering. That said I did like the vampire power Orpheus displayed where he could prevent speech and, with a gesture, would end a character’s dialogue with the actor responding quickly to the hand signal – that worked quite nicely. The story is, if anything, even simpler than before. The bickering removed the Everritt and Stewart camaraderie, and this was a loss to the improvised dialogue. Sorry guys, I’m sure improvising an hour fifteen of film is hard work but 3 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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