- Written By: Mitchell Altieri, Cory Knauf, Phil Flores
- Release Date: 1/1/2013
- Directed By: The Butcher Brothers
- Starring: Corey Knauf, Samuel Child, Joseph McKelheer, Mackenzie Firgens, Ryan Hartwig, Elizabeth Henstridge, Sean Browne, Tim Holloway
In an era where vampires are more ubiquitous than herpes and Justin Bieber, it’s hard to come up with something fresh and new within the bloating mythos. THE THOMPSONS, a sequel to the 2006 film THE HAMILTONS, stresses the family aspect of vampires, and puts a few twists on the origin and abilities of vampires to make it their own. It’s not wholly original by any means, but it’s unique enough, and the film that follows certainly warrants a viewing.
We open on the blond middle child of the Thompson clan (formerly the Hamiltons), who’s locked up in a box. How did he come to be trapped? Is this a Ryan Reynolds movie? Why is he buried alive? Well, that’s what propels the narrative forward for the first 2/3rd’s of the film, jumping back and forth in the timeline before the event. It’s a shtick that doesn’t really work, or at least is overdone (the flash forward opener is overplayed to begin with), especially since they payoff is muted because of it. But anyhow, the narrator, and the vamp in the box, is Francis Hamilton (Cory Knauf, lead and co-writer). His family is on the lam from the law from the states, after some unseen incident that presumably involves lots ‘o blood, and has been sent to a small town in the English countryside called Ludlow, to ask about someone called Manderson. Francis stumbles upon a family run pub, with a waitress who’s sweet on him from the word go, Riley Stuart (Elizabeth Henstridge). No one in the pub knows a Manderson, but we’ve seen this before; of course they know more than their letting on. When an uppity constable arrives threatening Francis’ new life, he snaps, literally, the neck of the constable, and barricades everyone behind the bar. Of course, when the bloodthirsty and evil brothers Cole and Ian stop by (Sean Browne and Tom Holloway, respectively), Francis learns the hard way that he’s not alone. There are others with the “disease” like him, that need blood to survive.
Through the jumbled narrative, we learn how the Hamiltons came to be abroad, with Francis, David (Samuel Child) and Lenny (Ryan Hartwig) in London, and the twins Darlene (Mackenzie Firgens) and Wendell (Joseph McKelheer) eating and $#^*ing in Paris. It involves a blood bath at a diner in California, and essentially, the orphaned family have no one to turn to, with their youngest Lenny, dying from a wound suffered on the unfortunate pit stop This desperation sends Franny to Ludlow, where he finds a lot more than he bargained for. The Stuart family claim that they had to vet Francis, and see what he’s like before welcoming him into the fold. We know this isn’t entirely true, but the reasons behind it and the truth about Riley are pretty cool, and the events that bring the Hamiltons back together again, against this much older and dangerous clan, are fun to watch. THE THOMPSONS is bloody and features some fairly startling and visceral scenes, involving human skin as masks, forced insemination and some creepy teeth, but somehow maintains a beating heart, even while the vampires involved don’t have that luxury.
Keep an eye on Elizabeth Henstridge, who plays the femme fatale Riley; she’ll be coming to TV in the S.H.I.E.L.D. show, and has charm for days.