Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter begins with a voiceover of “Lincoln” stating:
History prefers legends to men. It prefers nobility to brutality, soaring speeches to wild deeds. History remembers the battle, but forgets the blood. However history remembers me before I was a President, it shall only remember a fraction of the truth.
The premise for the movie is that, as a young boy, Abraham Lincoln witnesses the death of his mother by a vampire. Vowing to get his revenge, ten years pass and Abraham is unsuccessful in his quest to eliminate his mother’s killer. Enter Henry Sturgess, who teaches Abe how to fight and kill vampires. The movie takes the viewer into Abe’s life, Presidency and, eventually, the Civil War. All the while, he hunts vampires and seeks his revenge. Along the way, interesting things emerge about the blood-sucking creatures and Abe fights to keep the country in the “light” and him from the “darkness.”
It’s a bit silly to discuss the accuracy of Abraham Lincoln given its premise. But, honestly, it was probably more historically accurate than Pearl Harbor and far more entertaining than Alexander. Do not get me started on Alexander! Actually, in retrospect, if there was ever a movie I would walk out on, it would be Alexander. Let’s just say that Alexander is the reason my sister is NEVER allowed to choose the movie we go to. She will balk and fuss when I choose the movie but shuts up immediately when I say one word – Alexander. But I digress. I was excited to see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, because there’s little I like better than seeing presidents kick bad guy ass (à la Air Force One).
If I needed anymore reason to see it, I wouldn’t have to look farther than the movie trailer. It uses Johnny Cash’s song, “The Man Comes Around,” in which Cash says: “And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder. I looked, and behold, it was Death, saying, ‘Come and see.’ And I saw . . . and Hell followed me.” I’m always a sucker (pun intended) for a vampire (except anything Twilight) or zombie movie, but if it has any Johnny Cash music in it, then I must see it!
For having a mixed cast of relatively unknown actors and great supporting actors, the acting was very good. I also thought they all fit their characters well.
I thought the movie paced itself well. Being a little over an hour and a half long, I never found myself looking at the time.
The special effects could, at times, be considered cheesy but I will give mad props to the special effects team who literally went, in my sister’s words, “balls to the wall!” I would like to have been a fly on the wall when they were discussing the effects, it could have gone something like this:
“So that one scene where he’s chasing a vamp?”
“The one with the horses?”
“Yeah, I was thinking maybe a massive herd of wild horses…”
“And they jump all over them?”
“What the hell! Might as well!”
“But it wouldn’t look at all possible…”
“Do you know what the title of the movie is? Screw it! Just go all out!”
After we left the theater, my sister told me she had her eyes shut for half the movie but “not because I was sleeping.” My queasy sister did not particularly enjoy all the blood and fight scenes. Perhaps I should, or should not, also mention that she currently working towards her RN degree…. Personally, I didn’t mind it nor did I think that it went overboard.
The movie is adapted from a book with the same name (author is Seth Grahame-Smith). Based on some internet chatter, I see that some people did not enjoy it as much as they did the book. Since I have not read the book, I can’t comment on the similarities/differences between the two.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is one of those movies where you have to at least see it once, preferably not with small children. I recommend seeing it in the theater where you seem to be completely immersed in it. I did not see it in 3-D, partly, because I haven’t bought into all this 3-D crap yet but mostly because I don’t want to pay the extra charge. However, I think renting/buying it would be relatively similar. If you like vampire, action, or all-around awesome movies, then you should check it out.