Monday, 14 July 2014

"Vampire" Review | Movie Monday

"Vampire" (2011)
*Trigger Warnings for suicide and rape*

Simon (Kevin Zegers) is a young biology teacher with a dark secret: he has a compulsion to drink human blood. In order to satisfy this thirst, he finds suicidal women on an online forum and assists them with their suicide under the guise that he'll kill himself once they've passed.

It's really debatable whether what Simon's doing is okay. Everything he does is with consent; he's constantly asking if the women are sure they want to die and if they're ready. On the other hand, he's lying to them by telling them he plans to die with them, when in fact, he has no intention of dying. In some cases, this raises the question of whether they would go through with their suicides if they knew they were in fact the only ones dying - but in many other cases, it's clear that the characters planned to kill themselves whether or not he was there. At one point he questions himself and his actions as well, telling himself "you should be helping her".

There's a scene where his friend from a strange party rapes and murders a woman as Simon waits and watches from nearby. For obvious reasons, this scene is difficult to watch, but I think it's in the film to provide a comparison to what Simon is doing. His friend brutalizes a woman and tortures her for his own pleasure; indeed, while Simon is taking his "victims'" blood for his own personal use, he makes sure the women are comfortable and sure of what they're about to do, and provides them with a peaceful death.

Everything about this film, including the soundtrack, is very tranquil and peaceful; it's meant to evoke thoughtfulness and calm. The film can feel very slow at times, which wasn't an issue for me at all because I think the whole concept is intriguing in the sense that it raises so many questions; others may require more patience to get through this, but I think it's worth it.

The marketing is very weird for this film - everywhere I look, it's classified as horror, but I disagree with that, I would definitely classify it as a drama. The tagline, "they're dying to keep him alive", makes it sound like he needs them to survive, like he's some kind of creature; it's really more of a compulsion, he's not going to die if he doesn't drink blood.

This film really made me think (actually, it continues to) and it's raised a lot of moral questions in me. While it can be unsettling, I like it when a film can move me in that way and really affects me for a long while after I've watched it.

Do you like it when a movie makes you question yourself? What movies have done this to you?

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