I can’t tell you how much I wanted to love Near Dark. First off, it’s a horror movie directed by an Academy Award winner (not to mention the director of the awesome Point Break). Yup, that’s right, Kathryn Bigelow directed this vampire flick starring Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Tim Thomserson and Adrian Pasdar. Sounds like a pretty great line-up, doesn’t it?
Well, it is a good line-up, but I just could not get into this movie. Yes, the fact that it’s about a pack of vamps living in the west is kind of a nice change of pace, but the fact that it’s about a new vampire (Pasdar) who doesn’t really want to be vampire trying to figure out what he’s going to do with his unlife just felt SO been-there-done-that that I did care. In my mind I kept comparing it to John Carpenter’s Vampires (that’s probably sacrilege, I know, but I saw that movie first) and From Dusk Till Dawn. Oh, and Lost Boys, it reminded me a lot of Lost Boys without the fun of being able to watch the two Coreys doing their thang.
So, yeah, the basic plot was boring, even though the vampires were fun to watch. The combo of Henriksen and Paxton was fantastic. Actually, I should say not all the vamps were fun. Homer–played by Joshua John Miller who I also hated in Class of 1999–posed a pretty big problem for me in the movie and not just because I dislike the actor so intensely. See, the idea is that he was a kid when he was turned into a vampire, but like Claudia from Interview With A Vampire, he ages metnally while his exterior remains the same. He even goes on about how much it sucks to me an old man in a young kid body. Yet, later in the movie, he becomes obsessed with Pasdar’s younger sister (her and his dad have been out looking for him while he’s been gallivanting around with the vamps). If he’s an old man, why is he going after young girls unless he a pedopire, which just makes the whole thing way creepier than expected. I get that he might want to turn her now and then wait for her to mature, so they can be creepy old people trapped in young bodies together, but it really looks like he’s lusting after her in the movie and it’s just gross.
The ending of the movie’s also pretty stupid. Let’s call this SPOILER TERRITORY in case you’re worried about having a 23 year old movie spoiled for you. See, Pasdar stops being a vampire because his dad gives him a complete blood transfusion. That’s just plain stupid, especially considering these are pretty standard vampires with super strength, healing abilities and an aversion to daylight. There’s got to be something mystical going on there and not just a blood disease. If you’re going to set up rules in your story, you have to follow them a little better.
Ah well, there you go. I actually watched this one a few days ago and then I got to see Expendables and Scott Pilgrim, so I ended up in the plus column movie-wise this week.