THE THOMPSONS (REVIEW)
Dir. Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
…and with a new name, it’s all change for THE THOMPSONS. What do you get when you put the same actors, writers and directors together to make a sequel to a low budget smash hit film? A bigger budget, different setting and completely different format. Playing in a similar fashion as did THE DEVIL'S REJECTS to HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES at first glance you would not associate the two films but as soon as we hear Francis’ voice, we know our favourite vampire clan is back.
Opening up with Francis’ stuck in a box and narrated by the most normal member of the family, we’re transported to London where the now named Thompsons are looking for another of their kind to save Lenny, the youngest brother. As the first 20 minutes roles back and forth giving us flash backs and story setting one thing is clear.
There is no need to watch the original as this film plays its own and while recaptures what happened before, explains it all over again. And by the time we actually get back to Francis’ in the box we’ve been back and forth in time more times than The Terminator. In which time we’ve learnt that the new life they were heading for at the end of THE HAMILTONS was not meant to be as they get caught up in a bloodthirsty hold up at a diner and have made headline news. Lenny got shot and all hope has been lost for the family as they set around the world looking for an ancient vampire clan known to be in England.
Wendell and twin sister Darlene are in Paris doing what they do best, having sex and eating ‘food’ while David, Lenny and Francis are in London chasing the family. And it isn’t long until they find them and we soon learn that the Stuart family are just as twisted as the Hamilton/Thompsons. The hunters have become the hunted…
Evidently filmed on a bigger budget, this doesn’t affect the story telling as we sympathise with the Thompsons as they fight their way against an older, more stronger family who are too much, even for Wendell. Adding in a love story for Francis who quips “This ain’t Twilight” ironic as the ending of the film brings a pass the sick bucket moment but this is story telling at its finest.
Bringing more blood, more style and more action if only it had more references to the now cult original as opposed to brushing over the events, THE THOMPSONS would be a much better sequel but despite this and some dodgy CGI fangs hosted by the master villain, this manages to be one of the best Vampire films of the past decade.
(ed - Also look out for a pre AGENTS OF SHIELD Elizabeth Henstridge)