Friday, October 2, 2015

CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT (2014)

CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT (2014) 

Label: Artsploitation Films 
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 100 minutes
Audio: Spanish DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1)
Director: Ivan Noel
Cast: Ana Maria Giunta, Toto Munoz, Lauro Veron
It had to happen sooner or later, Artsploitation released something that didn't do it for me, which is pretty rare, they've been on a hot streak this past year. This slice of blood-sucking cinema comes from Argetina and the concept is very original, sort of Peter Pan Lost Boys version of the vampire mythology, but this one just failed to connect with me. The story centers  around a young reporter's journey to a rural colony in Argentina where the young refugees are afflicted by a rare disease knows as "transylvirus", which makes them sensitive to sunlight, and that goofy name is ridiculous. While there she begins to admirer how grown-up some of the children seem to behave, and there's a good reason for that, some are over eighty years old, despite looking like fresh-faced children. As she interviews the children some of the interactions with them tend to be a bit awkward, including a young boy who seems so familiar to the young reporter character, who comments on how nice her breasts look and speaking about her life with some knowledge.. 

The movie is low-budget and the image shows limitations from time to time, but the filmmakers do squeeze what they can from whatever cameras they were using, at times looking like a contemporary soap opera with bad lighting, which really sort of put me off. The content of the movie is top-notch, the story is intriguing, if a bit slow, with some interesting turns along the way. There's a cult of vamp-hunters who prowl the woods and murder the children, they're numbers are growing and they're planning an assault on the colony of children, from which they must defend themselves. 

The colony is run by an overweight elderly woman who teaches the children the ways of Catholicism, which is a nice touch, that's something you don't see a lot of in vampire movie, yo see religion but you don't see vampires adopting the religion. The tone of the movie is quiet and subdued, moving along languidly as we learn what life is like at a colony for orphaned vampire children and the character of the reporter comes to accept what's going on there, though she does come to accept it a little too easily for my tastes, but the story is pushed along with the knowledge that she had a dark past herself which is slowly revealed, and how that connects to one of the familiar looking children.

There's a decent finale hat ratchets up the action with a decent body count of both young vampires and vamp hunters, with a good amount of blood, but the movie just failed to connect with me.  I wanted to like it more, it had a decent mythology, the numerous child actors were decent, but sometimes I think I am a style over substance sort of movie watcher, despite the original concept and some decent framing of the shots sometimes I just need a bit more polish on a film to thoroughly enjoy it. Not awful, just not for me, way too subtle and not enough of the visceral. 2/5  

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