The Little Vampire

The Little Vampire


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

It is difficult to know whether this is a spoof horror film, or a sentimental buddy-buddy movie for the under-12s. Either way, it has its cringe moments.

Jonathan Lipnicki is atypical of child stars in the sense that he can be quite annoying. Perhaps, that's the character he plays, an American kid in Scotland who makes friends with a boy vampire.

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His on-screen dad designs golf courses and is employed by a belted earl (John Wood), who wanders about in plus-fours, being waffly and ineffectual. The Yanks behave like tourists in comic books - loud, insensitive and naive. Lipnicki is an eight-year-old version.

Somewhere there is a story about a family of vampires, headed by Richard E Grant, looking miserable in his Christopher Lee makeup, who is searching for an ancient brooch that will free them from their undeadness. Being good guys for a change, they don't feed off human blood, preferring cows that end up with bat-like characteristics.

Following in the footsteps of Roald Dahl, Jim Carter plays a vampirebuster, complete with eccentric truck and neon crucifix. His role is too absurd to bother with, a bit like Wood's accent.

The director, Ulrich Edel, made Last Exit To Brooklyn 11 years ago. Whatever happened between then and now has not improved his cinematic judgement. Also, how could the writers of Chicken Run and Beetlejuice lose their imagination?

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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American kid in Scotland makes friends with vampire boy.
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Director: Ulrich Edel

Writer: Karey Kirkpatrick, Larry Wilson, based on the novels by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg

Starring: Jonathan Lipnicki, Richard E Grant, Rollo Weeks, Jim Carter, Alice Krige, John Wood

Year: 2000

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: Germany/UK


EIFF 2000

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