Monday, August 06, 2007

Perfect Creature

This was my fourth horror movie of the festival. Perfect Creature is a vampire movie, which explains vampirism as the result of genetic experiment 300 years ago. There is bit of pseudo scientific mumbo-jumbo which doesn't satisfactorally explain anything, but sets the scene for an alternate history where human scientific progress has been held back and a symbiotic relationship has been established between vampires and humans. The vampires have taken a privileged religious role in society (calling themselves the Brothers), where they accept offerings of human blood in return for their priestly services (an ironic take on Roman Catholicism perchance?). The vampires claim to be a new and more advanced species, though given that they can't reproduce (being all male) and that they all have human parents; occasional occurring mutations might be closer to the mark.

The film takes the form of a police investigation of a series of murders in the slums by a team of cynical detectives led by Lilly. They are without witnesses until a street kid claims that a Brother did it. Naturally the kid is correct and naturally the Brothers have closed ranks to initially deny it while sending one of their own (Brother Silus) after the renegade (Brother Edgar). Eventually Silus and the police team reluctantly join forces and work uncomfortably together. Unsurprisingly the always calm Silus and beautiful Lilly are attracted to each other, and mad Edgar guesses and exploits this with predictable results.

Parts of this stylish film are filmed in Dunedin, Oamaru and Auckland and there are some familiar Kiwi faces to lookout for in the cast. Even though Perfect Creature is assembled from a variety of stock film formulas (including a final scene that shouts "there will be a sequel") it works, but I think it is watchable for its setting and inventiveness rather than its scariness.

Ian's rating: 3/5
Anne's rating: 3.5/5

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