Directed by Guillermo del Toro
This doesn’t look very light-hearted. I feel pretty neutral about it, honestly. It looks interesting, but not exciting. I know it’s a different kind of take on vampirism and that is kind of reeling me in a bit. The mechanism in the trailer looks dope and creepy.
In southern Mexico, there’s a device that was created in the 1500’s that can prolong its owner’s life, at a high (and gross) cost. It goes missing in the 1900’s and ends up in an antique shop owned by Jesus Gris. Jesus begins to investigate this ornate little thing while a very wealthy -and sick- man is going to great lengths to find it. Gris begins to ‘use’ the object because it dials back the biological clock for him, but eventually he really wants to eat all the blood and starts getting super gross and weird about it. Things go south!
I’m glad I watched this, although I still don’t entirely know how I feel about it. As far as regular old movie stuff goes, it moved at a good pace, was nice to look at, and had an interesting plot and characters. But something just feels…meh for me. But I don’t know why! I think it’s because I went in wanting to watch a Spooky Scary, but it was more along the lines of just a decent movie. Does that make sense? No? Yeah, didn’t think so.
Anyway! The device that prolongs life was super cool! It’s like an insect but made of gold. It definitely had a steampunk feel to it with its gears and clicky noises, which I totally dig on. The way that it pierces the users skin and uses the blood to keep itself going was a nice touch.
The scene that really stands out for me is the first night after Jesus accidentally uses the scarab. He goes mad! Overheating, scratching like an animal, eye balling that bloody meat in the fridge…It’s an eerie scene with the lighting and just watching the man lose it. The worst though is when his granddaughter quietly watches him as he makes the decision to use the device again. You can see his relief, almost orgasmic, when it latches. And then he totally just acts like it’s no big deal when he sees his granddaughter! Wtf?!
Oh! Quick aside! The show stealer was totally the mortician/makeup guy! That shit was hilarious! The way he just haphazardly throws the fake skin on and just slaps on some makeup…! Oh, man! The best.
I digress. Jesus’ slow deterioration into a monster paired with his loving relationship with his little granddaughter is quirky and quite endearing. Until, you know, he thinks heavily about sucking her blood out. But it’s that relationship in the end that ‘saves’ him. That’s the last straw and he ends it. And that little girl totally saw way too much weird shit for how young she is, right?! But they make a great onscreen pair.
As far as the vampire breed goes, I like this take on it enough. It was still a slow progression and he needed to die for it to really take hold. I do like that these kinds of vampers get to keep their humanity, at least that we get to see anyway. Just a regular dude looking for a blood fix and a little piece of eternity, ya know?
In the end, I did like this movie enough, it’s just not my kind of horror movie. I think it’s still worth a watch, especially if you want to see a different kind of take on vampires.
Have you watched this and had different feelings about it? Same feelings? Let me know! I want to discuss this movie with some others!