Day Three: Strigoi

Vampires are ucky

After a decade of enduring vampires depicted as either emaciated fashion models with guns or irritating teenagers dipped in glitter, any change is a good one.  For years I have wanted to see vampires as they are depicted in folklore: dirty, gross, and ugly.  Filmed in Romania, the homeland of Dracula, Strigoi makes my Halloween wish come true.  These are not American vampires, clean and fresh faced. No, these are gluttonous grave dwellers; their fingernails caked with dirt, lips darkened and skin mottled.   Strigoi  is the antitheses of all that is Twilight and that is reason enough to watch it.

Strigoi had the flavor of a Romanian Shaun of the Dead with the same sort of dark and quirky humor. It was shot in Romania, so going into it I expected subtitles.  I was surprised to find all the dialogue delivered in English. That’s odd, I though.  Why would they do that?  Well, largely because Strigoi was written by Faye Jackson, an Englishwoman.  She wrote the screenplay in English because she didn’t feel herself sufficiently fluent in Romanian to write it that language and still capture the nuances she wanted in the dialogue.   It works.  The characters come off as authentic and interesting.

There are no big fight scenes or car chases.  There is no budding romance between a doe-eyed vampire and silly teenage girl    Rather than an action film like we’ve seen in the last few years,  Strigoi is more of a mystery story with folkloric vampirism thrown in.  It’s a well written, well acted little monster movie.

Starring:
Catalin Paraschiv
Constantin Barbulescu
Rudy Rosenfeld
Camelia Maxim

 

Director:
Faye Jackson

Screenplay:
Faye Jackson

Three of five Vincents

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