Welcome to “Generic Top-Tier University,” where everyone looks like an Abercrombie & Fitch model, sexual intercourse is best had with dormitory doors wide open, cunnilingus is apparently part of the curriculum, and every girl’s first time drinking ends with the mandatory lesbionic adventure. Oh, yeah, and since this movie is titled Embrace Of The Vampire, there’s some neck biting and blood sucking, but that action doesn’t kick in until an hour and four minutes in – leaving plenty of time for this direct-to-video remake to focus on the important things. You know, exploitative tits and ass! Is it just me, or are all of these sexy vampire stories becoming increasingly more repetitive?
Charlotte (Sharon Hinnendael) is an innocent, goodie-goodie kind of girl, transferring from an all-girls Catholic school to a typical co-ed college. Coming over with a full fencing scholarship, Charlotte meets her new coach/professor Mr. Cole (Victor Webster), who sees tremendous promise in the young athlete. Unlike her previous educational situation though, Charlotte is faced with many more temptations, from sexual fantasies to alcoholic consumption, along with the sporadic hallucinations that haunt her nightmares. As her past is uncovered and legends become reality, Charlotte must fight the skeletons in her closet and protect those around her – if she can.
Looking at Carl Bessai’s Embrace Of The Vampire as a remake, there really aren’t many similarities except moments of gratuitous sexual pleasure, the main characters both being “chaste” good-girls, and there is indeed some vampire tomfoolery. Aside from that, Bessai’s film distances itself from the Alyssa Milano led thriller by making this current story more about Charlotte’s fight against an old curse – but both are equally laughable. Sure, give Bessai kudos for not making a shot for shot remake and trying some new ideas, but don’t give him too much credit after sitting through the whole horrendous ordeal.
I’m starting to feel like these Twilight rip-offs are never going to go away. It’s been what, five years since the first Twilight film came out? Since then, every production company clamored to deliver the next hot vampire movie for teen girls to awkwardly obsess over. Honestly, how many pouty virgin girls can encounter a vampire during their college years, be seduced by its lustful wishes, and then be forced to fight off its dark advances? According to Hollywood, about twenty freakin’ times a year, and Charlotte’s drab story is no different. Listen, if you’re a prospective female college freshman and you’re reading this review, you might want to preemptively bring a few cloves of garlic, some holy water, and your best cross to campus – apparently you’re going to need it.
I don’t fault Sharon Hinnendael for presenting such a vapid character, because she’s working with an established screenplay, but for lack of a better term, you’ll watch Charlotte deal with the same vampire bullshit so many female characters have already dealt with. It’s not like she’s trying to be another pouty-lipped Kristen Stewart either, and there was a serious attempt to exploit the inherent sexuality Gothic vampires represented, but despite the random “Unrated” nudity, Embrace Of The Vampire is still extremely repetitive.
For far too long Charlotte’s journey remains actionless, not revealing any vampires aside from lame flashbacks that always ended in Charlotte waking up somewhere strange. Want a good drinking game to follow? Take a shot every time Charlotte wakes up somewhere random after an extremely important scene, begging the question, “Did that even happen?” Oh yeah, you’ll get a nice buzz going – which might be necessary when dealing with this oversaturated story of “becoming a woman” through naughty hanky-panky.
If you can’t tell, I’m becoming increasingly dissatisfied with watching the same vampiric stories over and over again, and Embrace Of The Vampire does absolutely nothing to further a genre that’s had its soul sucked out years ago. Lifeless characters act out a recycled story, showing us a few different naked actresses, and the next hot dude to play a vampire. Girl finds freedom, girl is tempted by sexual desires, girl discovers her hidden past – I can’t, I just can’t do it anymore.
Considering I’ve seen worse productions, I can’t completely write off Embrace Of The Vampire, and if you absolutely can’t get enough of these copycat movies, Bessai’s film will absolutely deliver, but for true horror fans looking for something with a true, satisfying bite, stay away from this defanged beast – unless you’re into a good gumming.
I can't help but shake the sickening feeling that I'll be watching these Twilight-inspired copycat films for the rest of my life. You've seen it before, and you'll see it again - whether or not that's a good thing will depend on your love of fangless vampire films.