Rating (2.5 out of 5)
Summary: I was genuinely excited to watch this film, but was disappointed in the movie. The movie lacked fire between the main characters and therefore didn’t care if they all died. Additionally, movie is negatively impacted by painfully slow pace, cheap special effects and overall bleakness.
Plot: A young girl Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz) moves in next door to a young boy Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and they invariably become loyal friends. Abby reluctantly reveals to Owen she is a vampire and Owen deals with bullies at school.
What I Liked: The movie explored the mythology of vampires and a little of their vampire lore was new and interesting. The most intriguing scene happened when Abby wanted to visit Owen in his apartment. She asked him to invite her. He asked what if he didn’t, so she walks in uninvited. I don’t recall seeing the impact before on an uninvited vampire.
There was a key moment in the movie where Owen is carefully observing the boy who bullies him Kenny (Dylan Minnette). Kenny is bullied by his older brother. Owen empathized with Kenny and Kenny himself was an apparent victim. The movie misses an opportunity to leverage the empathy to create an emotional scene between Owen and Kenny at the end.
What I Didn’t Like: This is a slow paced film and 2 hours feel more like 3. In general, the director failed to connect the audience to either Abby or Owen. Without the connection to either of the main characters, I didn’t care if either character lived or died. Additionally, the connection between Abby and Owen was lifeless and dull.
The special effects were cheap and laughable. For example, Abby jumps on a man but Abby looks like an animated creature than a living creature. When will movie makers learn that you don’t have to show every detail, but trust in the audience?
The other concept that had potential but wasn’t developed fully was Abby’s caretaker The Father (Richard Jenkins). He went out into the local neighborhood and killed people to feed Abby. He would carefully hide in the victims cars and attack them. Or if Abby went rogue and killed someone, The Father cleaned-up the gruesome mess. Where did The Father come from, and how precisely did he end up doing this, did he love Abby, are elements missing.