Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter could’ve been hopelessly cheesy, but for the most part, this movie works. It’s got a dedicated cast made up of “actors’ actors”: Benjamin Walker, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Dominic Cooper, Rufus Sewell, plus a few cameos. It’s equal parts funny, bloody, weird, and over-the-top. Most of all, honestly, you have to thank director Timur Bekmambetov. The man wrote and directed the seminal Russian vampire film Night Watch, and his dark, did-they-seriously-just-do-that style bleeds into this movie and infuses it with a clear tone.
Leaving the theater, I wondered why couldn’t more vampire films be like this: Use the myth to recontextualize history while giving us this very clear mental image of a tall man with a stovepipe hat and the most badass axe known to man. So, here are six lessons that the two most popular vampire stories right now, True Blood and Twilight, can learn from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Photos: 20th Century Fox and HBO