Hey folks, Valkor here. Vampire flicks are hit and miss with me. Interview with a Vampire – hit! Twilight – miss. So when it comes to Vampire films, yea I step in with care. Well writer, producer, director, editor Philip Messerer has given TOV the chance to review his flick, part one of a trilogy entitled “Thicker than Water – The Vampire Diaries part 1”, and while it’s definitely amateur work, it does show some promise of an interesting trilogy.
Thicker Than Water is about a very dysfunctional family; You have one daughter who is the perky popular teen, her twin is Goth, the brother Ray, who is gay, the father… is just there and the mother was once a figurine skater in Bulgaria. Each live in their own little world, but come together for dinner, I guess to try to appear normal. One day the perky teen, Helen (played by Devon Bailey) dies after bleeding to death. Her twin sister Lara (Eilis Cahill) thinks maybe that voodoo curse she placed on her might have had something to do with it. However, later that evening, Helen returns her face covered in blood. She says she killed the Mortician, drank his blood. Hey it turns out she’s a Vampire. Ray (Michael Strelow) deduces that yes the blood inside of Helen is not her own, and it's evaporating, meaning Helen will need more blood or she may die. The family ultimately decide to do what is necessary to sustain Helen by feeding, or sacrificing others to fill her unquenchable thirst. The film shows that even the most dysfunctional of families will still come together to take care of their own. I mean, if it were you would you take a life, to save a life of a family member?
Lara states that other Vampires are sure to come looking for Helen and sure enough enters Patrice Duchamps III (Peter Chaskes) and that’s when things get really serious. I won’t go into detail because, to me, it’s the ending that makes the film and I wouldn’t wanna spoil it. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
For an amateur film, Thicker Than Water is not that bad. The story of a family making the choice to “sacrifice” others, to save a family member, well that’s pretty damn deep and makes for an interesting tale. It’s not a horror film, though it does have one good scare. And the creepiness factor is definitely high up there. Turn out the lights when you watch this one, its spooky. The acting isn’t the greatest, but good enough to keep you into the film. HUGE props go out to Jojo Hristova (Mom), who stands out the most in this film. Not sure of her acting past, but in this film, she rocks! But the film is well balanced in that everyone gets enough screen time. Though Lara is the main character, the focus is the family coming together. Finally, even though the film is part of a trilogy, it actually finishes off nicely as if to say “hey, if we don’t make any more, no one will notice”. But the ending is such a "wow" ending that it took a second viewing to fully absorb what happened. Finally the choice of music from the opening song to the creepy end song fits so damn well, and I don’t wish to hear the end song anymore. It’s just too creepy. I mean I like it, but in the context of the ending… yikes!
Just a few things I have to object. First off I don’t get the voyeuristic, scopic view-cam as if someone was watching the family through a peephole, yet there’s no one. Now if there is someone watching them, other than Duchamps, and it involves the other films, then I take this comment back. But as it stands, the shot served no purpose. Yea it kinda adds to the creepiness, but if no one is watching them then it’s pointless. Finally we know the family is using tourists to feed Helen, but just how are they getting them in the house? Finally the first two guys, the Mormons, Ahhhh it would have been much cooler if they were Jehova’s witnesses. Wakin me up at six in the morning, askin me if I found Christ? This will show em! Oh and the religious overtones were a bit too heavy for me; I almost thought I was tricked into watching a religious film, but seeing all the blood, gore, and that brief shot of boobage made me think otherwise.
Overall, after a second viewing, I have to say I was impressed with Thicker Than Water; Mr. Philip Messerer you have quite a film on your hands. It’s super creepy, has a moderate level of gore, a decent story and an ending that will make you cringe. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give Thicker Than Water – The Vampire Diaries pt. 1, 3.5 stars. And it’s been Valkor tested and TOV approved.