Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter ~ A Capsule Movie Review by Allen Kopp
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is based on the genre-bending (part horror, part historical fiction, part fantasy) novel of the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith. In the movie and the book, Abe Lincoln is an intrepid vampire killer, due in part to the notion that his mother was killed by vampires when he was at the impressionable age of only nine years. He soon discovers that vampires are everywhere, waiting to become the dominant species.
Abe is assisted in his hunt for vampires by one Henry Sturgess, who, Abe discovers, is a vampire himself but also a sworn enemy of all vampires. It seems that vampires can’t kill each other, so Henry uses Abe as his instrument in bringing down select vampires. Abe doesn’t use firearms against vampires, but instead prefers a silver-edged axe. There is much severing of heads and spurting of blood.
As Abe grows into manhood, he meets and marries Ann Todd from Springfield, Illinois. He becomes a lawyer and becomes interested in politics. He abhors slavery and sees the growing struggle between the North and the South as a struggle between vampire and non-vampire. Vampires want a nation of their own, it seems, and the vampire nation will become the separate nation formed if the South is victorious over the North in the epic War Between the States. When Abe becomes president, he has the monumental task of keeping the Union together and making sure the vampire nation does not become a reality.
I was a fan of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the novel, when I read it a couple of years ago. For my money, the movie version doesn’t work as well as the book. We don’t really feel Abe’s anguish and experience his personal misfortune the way we did in the book. We don’t feel the threat the vampires pose (to Abe, his family and the country at large). Also, the ending in the movie seems rather flat, as if they squandered the book’s ironic ending. It could have been a great movie but isn’t. Still, it’s not a bad summertime movie if you like that kind of movie, a toss-away, that you see and forget about. It could have been a lot more than that.
Copyright © 2012 by Allen Kopp