Dead & Beautiful from David Verbeek, 2020
review from Aike, film watched during IFFR
I think the vampire genre, at least for me, has been dead in the water ever since they made Twilight. But long ago, before that, I adored Vampire films (and series ). I am not ashamed to admit that I did watch Buffy the Vampire slayer and that I hated Angel (insert vomit here ). As a young adult I watched every vampire related fiction, no matter how bad or long (I am looking at you, Interview with the vampire ). To me eternal life seemed like an amazing idea and to be honest back then I did not care one bit that it meant eating other people. I might feel bad for a while but i had eternity to get over it . So what ?
Of course this romantic idea of eating people in exchange for eternal life died (at least for me) since then, but the Vampire genre lives on.
The film Dead & Beautiful from David Verbeek, shows at points influences I can recognise. The Vampires in this film are young, immortal and wealthy. I also recognise their boredom, which is so often depicted in the world of the filthy rich. What to do with your life if you have everything. Because that does seem to be our ultimate desire somehow.
For the vampires, in this film, it means nothing anymore to possess, they need to experience. Feel something new.
It is important to know that the Vampires in this film were born this way and have actually never hunted and experienced human suffering first hand. During the course of the movie for the first time in their lifespan though , the Vampires, have to get their hands dirty themselves and are, very unlike their kin, actually conflicted with this. Going out into the
world , feasting on the weak, is bringing out their own mortality and creates an exiting view on their sudden vulnerability.
There is something interesting about the notion of time in vampire films. It’s seems that it does not concern the eternal living and therefor it does not seem to concern movie makers. They both take their time since they have it and i like it . I need to be hypnotised and i think it works in Dead & Beautiful.
I really enjoyed the backdrop of the Chinese metropole, the monsters journey to self awareness & the great plot twist in the final minutes.