"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" opens this weekend at in Bethlehem. Friday and Saturday showtimes are 12:40, 4:00, 6:40 and 9:15, with a 12:00 a.m. showing for Friday/Saturday morning.
Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter?
Forget your notions of honest, stately Abe. This Abraham Lincoln is an ax-wielding, tough-as-nails, vampire slayer out to rid the country of a blood-sucking menace.
Based on the book by Seth Grahame-Smith, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" presents an alternative version of our nation’s history.
Young Abraham Lincoln, played by Benjamin Walker, embarks on a life-long quest to seek out and destroy the creatures responsible for the death of his mother. His quest for vengeance leads him all the way to the White House, where he discovers a vampiric plot to take over the United States.
The filmmakers describe the movie as bringing to the screen “the secret life of our nation's favorite president ... as history's greatest hunter of the undead.”
EW.com movie critic Anthony Breznican praised the movie for making vampires evil once more.
“ ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ (out June 22) arrives at time when the scariest thing about bloodsuckers is how tame they’ve become. For decades they were merciless, seductive, and bloodthirsty villains, but now they’re more commonly seen as the sparkling, waifish, and weepy heroes of YA romantic chick-lit,” he wrote.
Not only are the vampires scary, the movie itself actually works, according to Maryann Johanson of Flick Filosopher.
“The film isn’t without a subversively gentle sense of humor, yet it’s never so earnest that it stumbles over into cheese. Its utter lack of reflexive meta self-awareness is what gives it a surprising heft. It’s having an intellectually stirring sort of fun with the American mythological story, both its positive and negative side, recasting the horrors that have been done in the name of American freedom as a kind of vampirism,” she wrote.
Johnason concludes, “Mostly, though, the overwhelming impression I’m left with is sheer delight, that 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' is so very much better than it has any right to be.”
Jim Vejvoda of IGN.com disagreed.
“ 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' isn't scary or exciting enough to truly work as a horror flick; it’s not even silly enough to laugh at. Indeed, the movie takes itself so seriously that it never seems like it’s having any fun, so it’s tough to feel much of anything but ambivalence while watching all the bloody mayhem unfold,” he wrote.
Here's what other critics had to say:
“ALVH” is one ridiculous, hilarious, outrageous, bloody good time at the movies. — Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
A hybrid horror-historical actioner that gleefully warps facts to entertaining effect. ... Genre enthusiasts will lap up the mixture of action and fantasy, while history buffs who don’t mind a bit of rewriting will dig into an alternative spin on the Civil War period. Audience response initially should be robust, even if closer consideration might sap some later momentum. — Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter
Don’t let the stupid title dissuade you from seeing “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Let the stupid plot, the stupid history, the stupid action scenes, the stupid trivializing of slavery ... — Kyle Smith, New York Post
It's certainly an oddball concept, but one that carries some pop-culture cachet. — Gina McIntyre and John Horn, Los Angeles Times
... this insipid mashup of history lesson and monster flick takes itself semi-seriously, which is truly deadly. — Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is rated R for brief sexuality, violence and profanity.
Barrow Patch wants your movie reviews! Come back and tell us in comments what you thought about "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" and how many stars out of five you would give the film.