I’m not a history buff…so I wasn’t aware that our 16th president was the first Vampire Slayer.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
explores the secret life of our greatest president, and the untold story that shaped our nation. Visionary filmmakers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (director of Wanted
) bring a fresh and visceral voice to the bloodthirsty lore of the vampire, imagining Lincoln as history's greatest hunter of the undead.
It is so very easy to get excited about a Tim Burton-produced film called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
, especially when you’ve read the best-selling book by Seth Grahame-Smith. That’s right I read a book…without pictures!
I loved the book. I mean come on, how cool is it to have Honest Abe slaying the night crawlers. The lanky top hat wearing Mr. Nice Guy taking it to the vampires with extreme prejudice. His struggle against the great evil in the south…is both slavery and blood suckers…that is such a cool premise.
Enter Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (with Seth Grahame-Smith as an executive producer) and so enter my disappointment. Not get up and leave the theater disappointment, more like, “Man, the book was way better” disappointment.
Director Timur Bekmambetov paints a beautiful and bloody visual movie but cuts major elements from the story like Abe meeting Edgar Allen Poe and the true meaning of many of his speeches.
Benjamin Walker does a decent job in the title role and Mary Elizabeth Winstead brings a different interpretation to Mary Todd. The rest of the cast is ok…no one really stands out.
The film is more action than horror, with the one exception being the vampires themselves. They are more 30 Days of Night
And as far as the action goes…you will need to be gracious with many of the effects. Like a hand-to-hand combat scene that is carried out in a field of charging horses or the Confederate Army made up of mostly vampires. But the biggest and most unbelievable sequence is the train heist that involves an epic humans-vs.-vampire battle while the bridge is on fire.
Maybe it’s simply because “the book is always better” or maybe it was my high expectations, but the best I can score this is “Rental”.
SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
There is one scene where a man falls on a floor in a cabin and we see dead bare-chested woman. In another scene Abe hears screaming and enters the room to find a woman bouncing on top of a man in a metal bathtub.
There is at least one F-word, and four other mild obscenities.
The R-rating is mostly for the violence. Abe kills vampires by slicing off their heads, cutting open their chests, or shooting them with silver bullets. Each death is marked by fountain-like spurts of blood, bloody mouths and fangs, decapitations and one burning with a blacksmith's bellows on fire followed by screams and we see the man's face pushed in flames.
There are also several Civil War battle scenes at Fort Sumter and Gettysburg where hundreds of soldiers are killed violently.
- Do you remember when Henry tells Abe, "Real power comes not from hate but truth"? What do you think that means?
- Paul gives us similar advice in Romans 12:17-21
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.
Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”
Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
- Have you ever been tempted to pay back evil with more evil? If so, what happened?
- How could you have heaped burning coals of shame on their head instead?
- The next time you are wronged, what should you do?