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‘Blood Relatives’ review: Vampire story with lots of heart and little blood

Charming and heartfelt.

Blood Relatives follows Francis (writer-director Noah Segan, Knives Out), a vampire who has lived for decades on his own. He has settled into his roaming life of solitude when his daughter Jane (Victoria Moroles, Plan B) shows up. This leads to a major transition in both of their lives, but are either of them ready – and willing – to make the change?

Vampire movies have evolved greatly over the years. There have been comedies, stories about fighting addiction, and even films that have cast the dreaded creatures of the night in the role of the hero. Blood Relatives is part road trip comedy, part father-daughter story. It serves a number of masters, but thanks to its strong cast, it never feels overwrought.

The film has more heart than blood. There are some kills – it is a vampire flick, after all – but what the characters feel are placed in the forefront. There is some talk about living a vampiric life without taking human lives, but even this is not a focal point. Everything serves a grander purpose: to let audiences in on the feelings and motivations of Francis and Jane.

This makes Blood Relatives more engaging. They are not a bloodsucking pair wrestling with moral dilemmas; the two are a father and daughter trying to figure out life as they get to know each other. It brings a relatability that does not always come with vampire films. Since things moves briskly, it sometimes feels like the characters could be explored further. Thankfully, Segan has written a smart script filled with interactions that tell audiences all they need to know without feeling like exposition dumps. However, there is a noted lack of tension as the few issues that arise are dealt with quickly. It also would have been nice to get a better look at their new lives.

These missteps do not impact the enjoyment of Blood Relatives. Segan is charming as the new father trying to figure things out while Moroles plays off him perfectly as the teenager who does not pretend to have all the answers but is still filled with confidence. The vampire aspect adds a neat twist, but this is a film about finding oneself.

Blood Relatives begins streaming on Shudder November 22

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