“Vampires vs. The Bronx” lovingly expands the horror genre, with its charming cast but misses key opportunities to leave a mark.
|Screenplay By||Oz Rodriguez, Blaise Hemingway|
|Date Released (Netflix)||10/2/2020|
|Genre(s)||Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult|
|Duration||1 Hour, 25 Minutes|
|Bobby||Gerald Jones III|
|Luis||Gregory Diaz IV|
|Tony||The Kid Mero|
|Father Jackson||Method Man|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
In an area of the Bronx experiencing gentrification, friends Miguel, Bobby, and Luis struggle with the changes going around them and soon to them. For example, Bobby has a local dealer, Henny, trying to recruit him, and Miguel, nicknamed Lil’ Mayor, is worried about a local bodega owned by their father figure Tony, going under due to rising rents.
But, to add to their problems, people are buying up the block en masse and people going missing. Which after one encounter, they weren’t supposed to see, it leads the boys to realize there are vampires in the Bronx, and they are trying to take over!
The Dynamic Trio
While the dynamic between Miguel, Bobby, and Luis may not inspire you to think of them as the next big trio of Netflix, for what was needed in “Vampires vs. The Bronx,” they did what needed to be done. You have your leader in Miguel, the cowardly lion type in Luis, and then someone in the middle with Bobby.
But, what may also draw you in is the boy’s personal lives. All of which aren’t dived into much, as noted below. However, Bobby and his family trying to avoid the fate that took his father, Luis dealing with returning back from Florida, and then there is Miguel. For us, there was something about Miguel that makes you wish this was a series for the “Lil Mayor” moniker pushes you to want to learn more about him. After all, nicknames like that don’t come just because you have to earn it. So it pushes you to wish there was more backstory.
Kid Mero’s Role
While there is Father Jackson, played by Method Man, the only real, consistent, male role model is Tony, and the way Kid Mero plays him allows you to see the kind of fun dad he likely is. In fact, he is the sole paternal figure in the whole movie, and while Mero isn’t the best actor, his connection to the kids, you seeing Miguel fight for his store, it gives the movie an unexpected heart.
On The Fence
Wishing More Was Done With The Vampires
When it comes to the vampires in the film, honestly, not enough was done with them. Did they create some funny moments, especially when the kids tried to fight them? Yes. However, they were thinly detailed, a consistent issue with the movie, and while you understood their motivations, they weren’t allowed to be seen as so evil you hate them, nor was there a push for sympathy. Their existence was just a means to an end.
The Lighthearted Way The Boys’ Situation Is Shown
There is a bit of a pull and tug with how the boys are handled. On the one hand, you don’t want yet another production focused on how bad an urban area is, and see kids go through trauma. Yet, in order to sidestep the trauma, yet remain authentic in a way, it is hinted each kid has something going on, but ultimately avoided.
And by hinting and not exploring their backstories, like with everyone else we meet, it pushes the idea that there was a desire to face gentrification, but isolate all the other issues the Bronx deals with. Which, again, is understandable, but also clips the film at its ankles.
Rating: Mixed (Divisive)
“Vampires vs. The Bronx” makes an effort to be something worth watching. However, as it becomes clear it is avoiding or missing certain details, it falters more and more. Making it so, despite how charming it often is, it’s hard to say the charm is enough to sidestep the information you don’t get.
Ending Explained (Spoilers)
How Does “Vampires vs. The Bronx” End?
Pretty much with the kids defeating Vivian and the rest. So for those expecting Father Jackson to go all “Blade” and whoop-ass? Prepare for a disappointment.
Does “Vampires vs. The Bronx” Have Sequel Potential?
Let’s consider this, the Bronx was still bought up by the company Vivian had with the goal of making it housing for more vampires. We only saw less than half a dozen get killed so that leaves the potential for many more out there to swarm the Bronx.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- What happened to the bodies of Tony, who was killed, and the rest?