Vampires vs. The Bronx

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A scene in Vampires vs. The Bronx.
A scene in Vampires vs. The Bronx.
Photo: Netflix


3/5 Stars


Three gutsy kids from a rapidly gentrifying Bronx neighbourhood stumble upon a sinister plot to suck all the life from their beloved community.


Vampires vs. The Bronx is a fun take on the traditional vampire story. Vampires have always been a metaphorical interpretation of various social vices: addiction, desire and arrogance. But in director Oz Rodriguez's film, they're the root cause of gentrification in The Bronx. The vampires are looking for a new home and are buying properties in The Bronx because nobody cares that people are going missing.

This film reminded me a lot of Attack the Block with John Boyega but Attack the Block is still the superior film. Although Vampires vs. The Bronx pales in comparison, it's still a fun watch. These are very much Buffy the Vampire Slayer kind of vampires in that their faces change when they vamp out and they're kind of easy to kill.

At the forefront of this story is Miguel "Lil' Mayor" Martinez (Jaden Michael) and his group of friends who are trying to save the neighbourhood from the vampires who are, both literally and figuratively, sucking the life out of the neighbourhood. Miguel is throwing a block party to raise funds to save the local bodega run by his friend Tony.

Miguel witnesses the death of a local gangster at the hands of a tall, pale, floating vampire and recruits his friends to investigate the shady Murnau Properties (a nice nod to Nosferatu director, FW Murnau) which has been buying up local businesses and apartments. Shenanigans ensue. It's a great film to use to introduce your tweens to vampire lore.

It's scary enough but not traumatising. This is not a gory Blade or Underworld, neither is it a Twilight (thank God). instead, it falls squarely in the middle, making it a perfect Halloween watch for kids.

Behind the jokes about hipsters and gentrification and the shenanigans is a deeper message about how people are being forced out of their homes and communities because of capitalism and the allure of cashing out and moving up in the world.

It certainly is entertaining though, and metajokes are peppered throughout the film, giving adults something to be nostalgic about (the boys get a copy of Blade to prepare for their battle). Definitely a great Friday movie night choice.



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