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Movie Review: Vampyres (2016)

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Vampyres from Spanish filmmaker Víctor Matellano is a remake of a 1974 British vampire film about two women vampire lovers who live in an old house in the countryside, where they lure men to use as both playthings and food sources – often simultaneously. This is essentially the plot of both the original and the remake.

For the first two-thirds, Vampyres feels like an uninspired rehash of the original, and frankly I was ready to write the entire thing off as such, but then things started to take a different turn in the final third, which is where you can say that the film warrants its reason for existing.

First, let’s talk about that first two thirds. I’ve lost count of how many remakes I’ve seen this year, but I couldn’t help but be reminded of two in particular while watching this one – Martyrs and Cabin Fever. That’s not because this movie in any way resembles either film. It’s because like this film initially felt, both of these films also felt incredibly pointless. They took films that many consider to be modern classics and rehashed them in ways that did nothing to improve upon the originals.

I certainly don’t have the affinity for 1974’s Vampyres that I do for Martyrs or Cabin Fever (though it’s certainly well-liked by a lot of people), but it’s certainly a cut above this remake in these earlier two-thirds. The original told basically the same story (there are some minor changes), but in a more visually pleasing and well-photographed way. It’s not that Matellano and crew did a poor job here. It’s just that the original already exists, and there’s nothing in this majority of the movie that brings anything superior to the table.

Now, the final third is where things get more interesting. Again, I’m not a huge fan of the original, so those who love that may strongly disagree here, but this is where things take a turn for the more gruesome and firmly plant this version in the horror genre whereas you might say the original borders on soft core.

I won’t go into specifics, but there’s enough here for gorehounds to latch onto and make it worth a watch. It’s also enough to change my opinion of the film as a whole in terms of its validity as a remake. While it take a while to do so, it does in fact bring something new to the table, and depending on what you want from the film, this could be considered an improvement.

Vampyres is now out on DVD and VOD. The film stars Caroline Munro, Christian Stamm, Veronica Bacorn, Marta Flich, and Almudena León.

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