Aug 30, 2012

Review: Thicker Than Water - 2008

Thicker Than Water
Aka: Thicker Than Water: The vampire Diaries Part 1
Director: Phil Messerer

The Baxter family lives in a typical suburb. The mother (Jojo Hristova) is somewhat religious and the siblings – Lara (Ailis Cahill) and Helen (Devon Bailey) doesn’t get along. To be frank, Lara hates her sister and tries to destroy her with evil and supernatural powers by having séances at a shrine in her room. There is also a son in the family, he hides gay pornography under his bed and likes to do different scientific experiments. When dad has left the family after a thirty year old marriage and when Lara’s evil séances finally are successful, Helen wake up with blood coming out through her nose, she soon bleeds to death. The Brother, who examines the blood, finds a new strand of virus and claims that Helen needs fresh blood in order to survive. Lara totally turns and starts to love her sister after she seems to have died and then returned to the realm of the living. She gives good advice and since she’s Goth she knows a lot about vampyrism.

I had no expectations what so ever when I first saw this movie, at least not any positive ones. Nor had I any knowledge about what kind of movie it really was more than it was obviously a vampire flick. Unfortunately there is, just like zombie flicks, lots and lots of them. Too many amateurish filmmakers begin with these, maybe for the opportunity to add lots and lots of blood in them. Well, blood in movies is not necessarily a bad thing and there’s surely room for it in these kinds of movies.

It’s obvious very early in the movie that some kind of Mayan mythology will be an important part of the movie. I have no idea if this is real in anyway or if it’s invented myths for the movie. But is either case I find it very realistic and believable and that’s what it takes to make it interesting for me. The angle from which the film is shot is a bit odd as they often are in movies shoestring budget and with artistic ambitions. I can’t really make up my mind right away if I think it’s amateurish or artistic though. It doesn’t take much time however, to figure out that this is a very satirical movie and if you’re out to get a pure horror film you should look elsewhere.

There’s a mix of religious values and those about the all American dream. Is blood really thicker than water? Can you do about just anything for those who are, in truth, dear to you? Is this to go against God’s will? Are there thought out plans from a higher power for man to follow?

There’s some stunning work done by the makeup department which really impresses me! It’s not just blood and blood again and the effects has carefully though out. There’s obviously a lot of work involved here. Camera angles, as I mentioned before, works really well and the imagery reminds me of some of the silent greats. There's a tasteful piano soundtrack in the background (which also emphasis the silent movie theme). I really like the main ideas around the movie and it also works really well actor wise. Especially if you keep in mind that it’s satire you’re looking at. I’m really impressed by Jojo Hristova as the worn out mother!

This is supposedly the first part in a coming trilogy and I have to admit that I’m looking forward to the future parts! It will be very interesting to se what Phil Messerer can accomplish in the years to come and I’m convinced that he will continue to put his personal touch on whatever he does in the future!

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