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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Life + Arts

History, horror combine in new vampire film


“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” premiered this weekend and debuted as No. 3 at the box offices. The film grossed $16.3 million. | Courtesy of Stephen Vaughan/20th Century Fox

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” premiered this weekend and debuted at No. 3 at the box offices. The film grossed $16.3 million. | Courtesy of Stephen Vaughan/20th Century Fox

Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” comes to life in this mash-up of history and fantasy.

History buffs who do not mind a bit of a rewrite of American history may enjoy this alternative world where the president-to-be takes on the vampires of the Old South.

Action and fantasy junkies will also enjoy the hand-to-hand combat scenes that border being over the top.

Though the film is meant to be nothing but a fun action film, there is a sense that there was a lot left on the cutting room floor.

After witnessing the murder of his mother by a vampire, a young Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) vows vengeance and goes after the man responsible for her death.

He is almost killed during his first attempt, but is saved by vampire hunter Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper).

Under Sturgess’ mentorship, Lincoln becomes apt at vampire hunting while wielding his weapon of choice — an axe.

The young Lincoln is later sent to Springfield, Illinois where he struggles to balance hunting vampires, his burgeoning political career and his feelings for Mary Todd.

Opposing him is Adam (Rufus Sewell), a vampire who believes the time has come for vampires to have their own nation.

While Grahame-Smith adapted his own novel for the big screen, the one question that comes up is how much did he leave out of the movie?

The pace at which Lincoln goes from training to killing vampires to hunting them down and then leaving that behind to become a politician is rather quick.

The movie quickly fast-forwards to a nation at war and Lincoln, already president, makes the tough decision of whether or not to continue fighting.

The only thing that ties the pacing is nothing more than a voice-over explaining what the audience does not get to see. There also appears to be very little vampire hunting.

The 3D experience of the film is only effective when it comes to scenes with the vampires but does not add much to the movie other than that.

Be sure to pay close attention to the 3D effects when the vampires rise in the film — it adds an indescribable effect on the audience and is a great use for something other than just making things come flying out of the screen.

Fans of the book may be a bit disappointed with the film as there appears to be plenty of backstory left out of the movie in order to keep it under 2 hours.

Despite the weak script and other flaws of the movie, this is still a fun action-based film that tries to play with fantasy and history.

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