Movie #319 2020: Vampires vs. the Bronx (2020)

I told you it was coming: some unadulterated, teen, fantasy fun.

Vampires vs. the Bronx is yet another movie that Netflix have been able to churn out this year, regardless of COVID-19. We meet the three main characters living in the Bronx, New York. Placed on a backdrop of an increasingly gentrified neighbourhood, the kids are on a mission to save their local bodega from closure. Before they know it, they stumble upon something much more sinister: a group of vampires who are looking to take over their hometown. The main issue, however? None of the adults believe them.

The most striking thing about this is the colour palette. In a good way. The use of a green/blue filter gives it a certain edge that sets the mood: think the above image but in motion picture form. Coupled with the obligatory background smoke, this makes for a pretty good looking kids’ Halloween movie.

Using gentrification as an overt metaphor for vampires taking over an area is actually really smart. Not only does it inform young viewers about what gentrification actually is, it also keeps any adults watching engrossed purely because it’s easy to relate to true life. And the fantasy side of things is simply entertaining for everyone!

Three POCs as the leads is super refreshing, especially in a movie for young people. Keep that up please, Netflix. (I say this after watching 1995’s Vampire in Brooklyn, which was full of POC, but it still seems to be a rarity in modern cinema, sadly.)

So, is Vampires vs. the Bronx anything extraordinary? Well, it’s just an average vampire film when it comes down to it, except it has young teens at the helm. Fun but nothing new, the plot manages to be entertaining even though it plays into every trope that exists and isn’t exactly going to wow you with plot twists. For instance, there’s a ‘secret’ vampire amongst the cast, but it won’t take you long to figure out who that is. But that’s okay. It’s still fun to witness.

Some smatterings of comedy, brilliant CGI make up… but something tells me people will be unduly harsh towards this purely because it’s predictable and is more of a young teen movie. Personally I had a good time! Don’t let the ‘target audience’ put you off.

Vampires vs. the Bronx is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.

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