Quantcast
subscriber help

by maryann johanson, liberal movie person

The Little Vampire (review)

Though he seems to try his damnedest to be one of those annoyingly frisky and ingratiating child actors, I just can’t help but love Jonathan Lipnicki. The lispy little guy who informed us how much the human head weighs in Jerry Maguire is still a self-conscious performer rather than a natural actor, but he takes on his first action role with an appropriately boyish giddiness that’s sure to make him a hero to the elementary-school set. Tony Thompson (Lipnicki) has barely settled in from a move from San Diego to Scotland with his affable but clueless parents (Pamela Gidley: Jane Austen’s Mafia, and Tommy Hinkley) when he befriends Rudolph (the charming Rollo Weeks), who, as a member of the local vampire coven, has been 9 years old for 300 years. Soon enough, Tony has inveigled himself into the good graces of Rudolph’s gothy-punk vampire parents (Richard E. Grant: A Christmas Carol, and Alice Krige) and siblings (Anna Popplewell and Dean Cook) and is embroiled in a plot to grant the family its greatest wish: to be human again. Ancient curses, lost amulets, mysterious coats of arms, and buried treasure make for a delightful fantasy kids will love, and one that won’t make their parents sorry they came along for the ride. Based on the beloved children’s books by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg, this is a sweetly scary and silly story about kid adventures grownups never know about, the secret world of a child’s bedroom, and visions of revenge against bullies — one that doesn’t need to resort to toilet humor or inane slapstick to entertain the kiddies. It’s aimed pretty squarely at the under-12s, but adults will appreciate the nods to movies past, like the Mad Max-esque vampire hunter Rookery (Jim Carter: Shakespeare in Love) and the requisite torch-wielding peasant mob — it simply wouldn’t be a vampire movie without one of those.


MPAA: rated PG for some mild peril and rude humor

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb
posted in:
reviews
explore:

Pin It on Pinterest