Tuesday, January 14, 2014

In short: Kiss of the Damned (2012)

Warning: this little piece is rather cranky

As much as I respect director Xan Cassavetes's obvious admiration for European horror cinema of the 70s (particular that of Jean Rollin), and approve of her decision to use elements of the style without going all out imitative retro with it, I can't help but notice, and be annoyed by how fucking bourgeois her film's conception of well, everything, is.

Her vampires are boring upper-class twats, even rebellious evil vampire Roxane Mesquida's type of rebellion is deeply bourgeois in its utter pointlessness, and really nothing you haven't seen from any rich daughter, just in this case with more dead bodies after the fucking, and blood instead of cocaine. Let me put it this way: why should I care about these people, their oh so poor broken vampire hearts, their unimaginative conception of evil or of happiness, their improbably conservative idea of hedonism and their sad staring out of their rich homes towards peaceful fucking lakes while classical piano plays?

The film surely has no answers to that question. In fact, I don't think it can even imagine anyone asking that question of it, seeing as it is the sort of film where the only lower class people are a faithful maid who gets rid of the evil vampire sister after a deus ex machina has already done most of the work, and various nameless victims. And no, the film unfortunately isn't doing some rude satire where he equates being rich with being monsters; it's just too concerned with posing its pretty people in pretty shots with a bit of decorative blood and a few tears to bother with any of that stuff.

I'd still be able to get something out of the film if Cassavetes style would result in a film as hypnotic or moody as it is pretty, but Kiss of the Damned never finds the point, that dream-like or nightmarish mood of many European horror films of the 70s that could help one ignore its politics, or its lack of dramatic heft, or its lack of plot, all things that I have seen become unimportant in other films.

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