Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
Night Teeth is the latest vampire movie to come to Netflix. Benny (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) is a college student who moonlights as a chauffeur at night. His latest job is to take two party hopping women across Los Angeles in one night. He soon learns their plans go much further than he initially thought.
Over the years, vampire stories have changed the mythos to suit their needs. Some things are seen more often than others, but there are no universal rules. Night Teeth sets things up for audiences with some explanation in the film’s opening moments. This frames the plot, but ultimately ruins full immersion.
While it does help with world building, it may have been better to explain the rules over the course of Night Teeth instead of just blurting them all out in the beginning. There is nothing so complicated that it requires hand holding. This also leads to a lot of unanswered questions. The use of gang warfare in Night Teeth is an inspired take on vampire clans. Regrettably, it does not seem to have been given much thought. Vampires are shown as rich, powerful, and with a wide network of friends while humans seem to be the exact opposite. The dynamics are off and while humans are made out to more powerful than vampires, there is no reason to believe they should be.
Additionally, there is a group known as the Night Legion. They seem to be independent of the ruling families and seem to be a police force that ensure vampires do not get out of hand and…take over the world? They seem to operate under a “take no prisoners” mantra. Again, no backstory is given about them.
Night Teeth takes place entirely in Los Angeles, with Boyle Heights being of specific importance. This begs the biggest question of all. The narrative states there has been a centuries long truce in effect in the area. What is the reason for this truce and what is going on in the rest of the world? One of the rules is vampires cannot let humans know of their existence. Does that mean once county lines are crossed, it is okay to self-identify as a blood sucker? Are vampires a reality in Texas or England?
All of this could have been solved with some minor tweaks. It is a given that vampires should not make their existence known, so does it have to be a rule? Why is the truce specific to one area? Or is the deal known throughout the world – Night Teeth never quite says. If so, the agreement could have been made between humans and vampires long ago and Los Angeles just happens to be the setting for this one story.
Making matters more frustrating is that Night Teeth is a pretty fun movie. It has a youthful feel that rivals The Lost Boys, the difference being it is more vibrant. Lucy Fry gives a fantastic performance as the slightly unhinged Zoe. She commands the screen whenever she is on. The rest of the cast are just as enjoyable, with likable heroes and noxious villains. Ultimately, it is like hearing about the time your friends had a wild night out. It looks and sounds like a good time, but the story is much better in their heads than to their audience.
Night Teeth arrives on Netflix October 20th
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