The non-stop commercials for Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights and Knott’s Berry Farm’s Halloween Haunt are a pretty good indication that All Hallows’ Eve is almost upon us. As iconic as both of those locations are, plenty of people are much happier spending the month of October watching horror films at home. If the latter is your preference, Anchor Bay has a new release that fits the bill. While the original Embrace of the Vampire starring Alyssa Milano was light on the horror elements, this remake dives head first into the genre.
First of all, don’t expect Embrace of the Vampire to be a thought provoking experience. This Blu-ray DVD Combo pack is eye candy all of the way through. While the 2013 version does attempt to flesh out the original story a bit, even flashing back a couple of hundred years, there is still too little to really sink your teeth into. There are half thought out arcs and the pacing is terribly uneven, though the film does attempt some misdirection which will take a few minutes to figure out. The pacing problem is most evident with the ending that feels rushed and offers very little in the way of payoff.
What Embrace of the Vampire does do well is look good. The photography throughout the film is stunning. The mountain environments and the school where most of the film takes place are captured vibrantly. The casting continues this theme, though considering how often many of them are without their clothes, that’s not much of a surprise. The choice of Sharon Hinnendael in the lead role of Charlotte, offers a stark contrast to the original’s Alyssa Milano. It is worth noting that Hinnendael pulls off the shoe gazing role so well, that many of her scenes can be infuriating to watch.
This gorgeous looking movie is probably best viewed as date night movie for couples that don’t intend on focusing entirely on the film. Billed as an erotic thriller, the execution is certainly better than most of the late night Cinemax type fare. The unrated movie isn’t particularly gripping, though the surrealism of it all can be a bit mind bending at times. Though the acting isn’t likely to win anyone any awards, the efforts aren’t terrible. Less campy than something like True Blood, Embrace of the Vampire tries to take itself seriously.
Anchor Bay’s 2013 reimagining of Embrace of the Vampire is available in a Blu-ray DVD Combo pack with no extra features. Considering the departures from the original film, it might have been interesting to get some insight into the development or get Sharon Heinnendael’s thoughts on taking over Alyssa Milano’s notorious role. Both the discs have a running time of 91 minutes and the stunning, though slightly over saturated photography is presented in a 1.78.1 widescreen format in 1080p resolution. Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio is available on the blu-ray disc and Dolby Digital 5.1 is on the DVD. The separation on both is good though there isn’t much that really pushes either format. English and Spanish subtitles are also available.