The Vampire Next Door (2024)

The Vampire Next Door Review

The Vampire Next Door

This film is very indecisive. It is a vampire movie, but with only a little bit of vampire action. It’s a romance, but without any actual romance. A comedy, without any big laughs. A high school film, but without any high schoolers more on that in a minute. Definitely not horror though there is some blood.

Cameron (Alex Matthews) wakes up next to Diane (Bella Chadwick). He has to go to work but she had such a good time last night and wants him to call in sick which he will until he wakes up and its been a dream. He goes downstairs and his dad (Josh Kay, Super Hot), wants him to choose what he will do with his life he gap-yeared last year. But it’s the start of summer and he’s late for work at an ice cream parlour. Mom (Rachel Petsiavas) has dad back off, until she realises that he’s only having a coke for breakfast.

So, he gets to work and the boss (Taylor King) says he’s late and asks him to close up that night. He says no, he has a date with Diane which the boss doesn’t believe; rightly so. He does go round to Diane’s house, who he has had a crush on since high school, and she is sunbathing. He decides instead of going over there to text her and is collared by a couple of bullies Chad (Seth Kerrigan) and Jason (Elijah Golden), accusing him of photographing her phone gets destroyed in the mix-up.

He gets home and notices there’s light opposite his bedroom window and sees Victoria (Jessica Ferguson) changing she sees him seeing her too though. At dinner the doorbell goes just as dad was about lay into him about the broken phone again it rings again when Cameron opens it and Diane is stood there. She got his text about pizza and they go out. Turns out that, yes she’s his crush but they are actually friends and she’s just home from college. When eating he sees a friend, Martin (Andrew Larkin), and waves to him. Diane is mortified and Martin can barely speak she later tells Cameron that she asked Martin to Senior prom and he stood her up.

So let’s talk themes for a second. This models itself on High School films. Cameron is the loveable central geek, Diane (obviously) his hot crush, there are a couple of bullies and a Jock in the form of Martin who fancies Diane (he stood her up because her looks/brain intimidated him) & wants Cameron’s help to get with her. Except, Cameron is pitched at twenty so not high school though Alex Matthews looks younger than pitched & Victoria later suggests she was 16 when turned into a vampire though she looks much more mature than that (maybe vampire’s age in this, the lore doesn’t seem important). The romance side of the film maintains a level of unrequited love with a side dish of lust-based hook ups.

Anyhow, Cameron is lying in bed when Victoria looms over him and tells him to get up because he has to drive her or she will tell his parents about his voyeurism. He can’t drive because he doesn’t have insurance but he has no choice. They arrive at the place and a man lets her in, then runs out not long after with an injury. She catches up to him and bites him on the neck; her face becomes veiny all over. Then Cameron realizes what she is and that he’s stuck ferrying her around his dad thinks it’s a great idea for him to drive the lady who is house sitting next door. She pays for his insurance.

So there isn’t much lore mostly just the veiny face thing. She can go out in sunlight and no apotropaic methods are mentioned. The people she attacks, she says, are vampires from a rival clan who killed her lover/master. She is looking for a powerful female vampire somewhere in this town. We do see that a bite turns someone which is revealed at the end of the film also she has an ability to appear places (like his bedroom) at will. She does try to seduce him but he has his unrequited love and that’s a whole thing it’s also clear that his co-worker, Liz (Margaret Race), likes him too and also that he likes Diane so much that he’s blind to anything else.

This movie is longer than it should be; it could use some editing clearly reaching back to some of those eighties high school vampire films while also having a Cyrano de Bergerac plotline thrown in there for good measure The vampirism is under-explored; we “hunt” them quickly (and they just look like regular guys sometimes they’re working such as the rather wizened security guard). What kept me watching more than anything was one Alex Matthews is genuinely engaging but the whole thing felt plot light and not tight. The acceptance was unbelievable not just of Victoria being a vampire and that he should help her, but in the resolution of our primary plot Tightening up what it wanted to be some horror would have helped this tremendously.

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