Karoline Herfurth is disturbed young Lena, who falls in with a group of female vampires she met at a nightclub, headed by the seductive Louise (Nina Hoss). Apparently only female vampires now exist, with the males being extinct. Blood-sucking Girl power! At first Lena enjoys the somewhat hedonistic and materialistic lifestyle immortality affords her, but the more blood-thirsty and brutal side of vampiric life becomes a turn-off. Unfortunately, Louise doesn’t much like letting anyone go, and has become somewhat obsessed with Lena. It’s lonely being immortal, don’tcha know? Lena would much rather the company of young detective Tom (Max Riemelt), however and that puts Louise and her brood (and their entire lifestyle) in potential danger.
Although the unashamed pervert in me was somewhat miffed that the film didn’t entirely go down the obvious Sapphic vampire route (why not, damn it?), I have to commend this German vampire flick from director and co-writer Dennis Gansel (who previously made “Mädchen Mädchen” and “The Wave”) for thankfully eschewing the “Twilight” trend of sanitised, sparkly tweener vamps. Like the rather savage “30 Days of Night”, this one’s no neutered tweeny-bopper romance garbage, despite the blue-green colour scheme cribbed from the aforementioned “Twilight”). And whilst I’m not into drugs or rave parties (why do vampires always have the worst taste in music?), it’s a helluva lot grittier than “Twilight” and kinda cool in a way. If anything it’s like Tony Scott’s “The Hunger”, but with a visual and aural style far more advanced than the 80s New Wave vibe Scott was going for. I know that makes it sound like a vampire version of “The Craft”, but believe me, it’s a lot better than that. “Near Dark” has also clearly had an impact on the director too, in that sense.
It’s never remotely boring, visually interesting, and quite well-acted. Nina Hoss is especially impressive and bewitching as head vampire Louise. Lead actress Karoline Herfurth plays a character who looks a bit too “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” for my liking, but is quite good too. There’s some great foggy exterior shots here and there by cinematographer Torsten Breuer and some really fascinating set design and scenery that I was especially impressed with too. Co-written by Jan Berger, I liked how the script suggested that vampires can be as decadent and reckless as they want because they don’t get fat, pregnant (Don’t tell that to the Twi-hards!), or overdose on drugs. That makes it awfully inviting and intoxicating. There’s also a rather affecting scene between one of the girls and her dying daughter, who looks like her great-grandmother, due to the mother retaining the eternal youth with being a vampire. That was something different to the norm.
Overall, this isn’t entirely my kind of female vampire movie (Jesus Franco’s “Vampyros Lesbos”, anyone?), nor my kind of vampire film of any kind, but there’s still a lot that impressed me. It’s visually very interesting and certainly slick, but with some definite grit underneath. And that opening scene on the plane is especially memorable.