DVD Review: The Thompsons [MA15]

Dir: The Butcher Brothers
Starring: Cory Knauf, Samuel Child, Joseph McKelheer, Mackenzie Firgens, Ryan Hartwig,Elizabeth Henstridge

The Film:
I just saw The Hamiltons for the first time this month, as part of my 31 Days Of Horror marathon (you can see my mini review here) and I was curious to see where the follow up would lead. I was very surprised to see The Thompsons acts as a sequel but also as a stand-alone film. Not something easy to pull off but The Butcher Brothers (Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores) and star Cory Knauf did rather successfully with their script. The Thompsons in my opinion while strikingly different than The Hamiltons is a better film, as I feel the filmmakers have really found their feet.

The film begins some time after The Hamiltons left off, with the family going under a different name. We get reintroduced to the characters and see their antics have led them to England. Francis Hamilton (or Thompson played by Cory Knauf) has tracked down another vampire family the Stuart’s in order to help his own family. But he hasn’t found what he has expected, and getting involved with this new family looks to have very serious consequences for his crew.

The tone and feel of The Thompsons is very different than The Hamiltons, it is a much brighter looking film as well. I would assume this had a bigger budget (it certainly looks like it), and there was a bit more freedom here to explore the vampire mythos created. There are elements of other vampire films present (like Near Dark), but this does feel like it is its own thing and a stand out of the sub-genre. I really liked how this was a story told to us in voice-over and it was not linear, the structure was odd but it seemed to work all the same.

The performances here I felt were definitely a step above the previous film, with all the actors returning (a new actor played Lenny though) and feeling much more at home. Cory Knauf was really good, and I was impressed with him here, he clearly put a lot into this film and it shows. Mackenzie Firgens was a stand out in The Hamiltons and she was great here, if sorely underused. Samuel Child, Joseph McKelheer and Ryan Hartwig were all-great, and left me wanting more. The newcomers were decent also, with Elizabeth Henstridge shining bright as Riley Stuart.

The Thompsons isn’t without its flaws, a few bits of plot threads where either forgotten about or not really tied up properly and it would have been beneficial to do so but I managed fine without it. The other big issue I had was the CG blood and gore, it was over used and it looked just a bit too unreal. For a film that looks really good, it is disappointing for the blood to look so ridiculous that it makes those scenes a little painful to watch. At the end of the day though, despite those things I had a great time with this film and I would highly recommend it. The Butcher Brothers are proving to be filmmakers to watch, and this is the best thing I have seen from them so far – they are improving their work over time and that is a huge plus in my books.

The Australian DVD 
Audio/Video: The video is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen. Audio is presented Dolby Digital 5.01.

The video and audio on this DVD is fantastic, everything is quite sharp and crisp – very impressive transfer.

Extras:
* Relocating The Family
* Scribed In Blood
* Humans To Monsters
* Awakening The Project
* Families
* The Ringlestone Inn

The extra’s here are rather extensive, and a really good look at the film. It contains interviews and behind the scenes stuff that are certainly well worth a watch. There is a lot of info provided and it does make for a good companion piece to the film.

Rating:

DVD details here.

Thanks to Bill care of Accent Film Entertainment for the copy.

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