Movie Review: ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Works, Critics Say
The 16th President is on a mission to rid the United States of an urgent problem -- vampires.
Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter?
Forget your notions of honest, stately Abe. This Abraham Lincoln is an ax-wielding, tough-as-nails, vampire slayer out to rid the country of a blood-sucking menace.
Based on the book by Seth Grahame-Smith, ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ presents an alternative version of our nation’s history.
Young Abraham Lincoln, played by Benjamin Walker, embarks on a life-long quest to seek out and destroy the creatures responsible for the death of his mother. His quest for vengeance leads him all the way to the White House where he discovers a vampiric plot to take over the United States.
The filmmakers describe the movie as bringing to the screen “the secret life of our nation's favorite president . . . as history's greatest hunter of the undead.”
EW.com movie critic Anthony Breznican praised the movie for making vampires evil once more.
“ ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ (out June 22) arrives at time when the scariest thing about bloodsuckers is how tame they’ve become. For decades they were merciless, seductive, and bloodthirsty villains, but now they’re more commonly seen as the sparkling, waifish, and weepy heroes of YA romantic chick-lit,” he wrote.
Not only are the vampires scary, the movie itself actually works according to Maryann Johanson of Flick Filosopher.
“The film isn’t without a subversively gentle sense of humor, yet it’s never so earnest that it stumbles over into cheese. Its utter lack of reflexive meta self-awareness is what gives it a surprising heft. It’s having an intellectually stirring sort of fun with the American mythological story, both its positive and negative side, recasting the horrors that have been done in the name of American freedom as a kind of vampirism,” she wrote.
Johnason concludes, “Mostly, though, the overwhelming impression I’m left with is sheer delight, that 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' is so very much better than it has any right to be.”
Jim Vejvoda of IGN.com disagreed.
“ 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' isn't scary or exciting enough to truly work as a horror flick; it’s not even silly enough to laugh at. Indeed, the movie takes itself so seriously that it never seems like it’s having any fun, so it’s tough to feel much of anything but ambivalence while watching all the bloody mayhem unfold,” he wrote.
“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is rated R for brief sexuality, violence and profanity.
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