Benjamin Walker in a scene from the movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Benjamin Walker in a scene from the movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Alan Markfield - Picselect

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter review

IF you thought Abraham Lincoln had a tough job working to end slavery and dealing with Confederate states in 19th century America, l imagine just how tough that job would have been had he been battling the undead too.

This forms the premise of director Timur Bekmambetoy's historical/supernatural mash-up, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in which the Civil War is reimagined as the design of vampires.

Unlike the fanged romantics and heart-trobs in Twilight and True Blood, here the vampires are gruesome, ghastly beasties deserving of an axe to the head rather than a kiss on the lips.

Adapted from the 2010 novel, it's a fun sounding concept conceived by Pride And Prejudice and Zombies author Seth Grahame Smith and throw a producing credit for Tim Burton into the mix and you should have a tantalizing witty and dark thriller.

But unlike the fanged creatures featured, this film as no bite.

There could have been so much humor to be had, a fun and fantastical romp through history but instead Grahame Smith and Bekmambetov make the catastrophic decision to play it straight, sucking the very life out of what could have been a minefield of gold material.

Instead of a postmodern flick we end up with something more akin to a B-grade horror flick crossed with a dodgy historical documentary.

There is little tension throughout the plot as it limps towards its clichéd and inevitable climax.

Visual it is no better with the digital cinematography like a dull unfinished and unconvincing cartoon.

It's bleak, bleached and bland.

The 3D effects are gimmicky and hark back to the dodgy incantations we saw when the technology first came in.

Ben Walker as Abe himself does his best with the weak and listless material and provides the only charismatic moments throughout the film.

Stiff and leaden, bleak and bland, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter shares far too much with its undead antagonists; it has no life and is deserving of an ax to the head.


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

  • Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ben Walker, Dominic Cooper, Rufus Sewell
  • Director: Timur Bekmambetov
  • Rated: MA15+
  • Reviewed By: Miranda Cashin
  • Verdict: Two stars

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