Last night I got the chance to take in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (now being referred to as ALVH). Coming into it, I’d read, and really enjoyed, the book. Seth Grahame-Smith did a very impressive job of intricately weaving the well known history of the 16th President of the United States with a dark twist, vampires. The delicate balance of historical accuracy flawlessly overlapping with vampiric motivation is actually what drew me to incessantly turning the pages. Lincoln’s firm stance on slavery, his vital role in the civil war, and his historic term as President, were all shrouded with this dark secret. In my mind, it still stands as one of the more innovative books I’ve read.
The movie doesn’t do the book justice; and anyone who reads the book before seeing the movie will be disappointed with the lack of carry over from the pages to the screen. At least I was. On a number of occasions I even found myself dropping my head into my hands.
I will say right now, the movie contains about 25% of the book’s plot and has completely made up the remaining 75%. For moviegoers who haven’t read the novel previously, it’s not much of a problem. I really liked the movie regardless of what it was supposed to look like. I understand that the movie business isn’t really about making the consumer happy, it’s about making the actors, producers, and directors all fantastically rich. Plus, I’d rather present you wonderful people with an argument as opposed to writing “I enjoyed this film”, putting up a picture, and being on my way.
To paraphrase my favorite comedian/philosopher Louis CK, “We’ve created such a high bar of stimulus, that anything below the norm can’t compete. We feed our kids insanity.”
It’s a valid point, we’ve been conditioned on, as CK says, “Anger and colors.” Movies need a manifested antagonist, with a leader preferably that our hero can come up against at the end of a rising action. It needs to be politically correct and ethnically diverse. Oh, and it can’t be complex.
I would really have enjoyed the film as the book played out, which in my mind could have been done just as easily, without a giant burning train trestle scene.
Everything considered, I’d recommend this to people who enjoy a good action film. The untapped well of axe-themed killing sprees has never really been explored until now. Fair warning, it gets bloody.
Stay Thirsty My Friends,