Horror Movie Review: There’s No Such Thing as Vampires (2020)

Attempting to be a grand vampire tale that pays homage to many, many older movies, not exclusive to vampire tales either. There’s No Such Thing as Vampires has a promising base idea undone by too many slow moments and not enough actual horror.

It was directed by Logan Thomas who co-wrote it with Aric Cushing, who also stars in the movie as the vampire, Maximilian. Is that a silly name for a vampire? Absolutely but it does at least make sense come the film’s climax and twist.

Maximilian is a vampire, a tall and imposing cowled figure that hunts his prey across a desert in his custom R.V. His latest potential victim is Joshua (Josh Plasse) who has managed to escape his grasp temporarily. Joshua, now aware that vampires are real, desperately tries to find help. First interrupting a showing of Nosferatu in a movie theatre and eventually stealing a car and driving off into the darkness of the desert.

It’s out there that an injury he suffered at the hands of the vampire causes him to be distracted and hit Ariel (Emma Holzer) who was distracted by her phone. It’s a minor collision but enough to take them both off the road. There’s no time for Joshua to explain himself though as Maximilian is close behind so he jumps in Ariel’s car and orders her to drive.

They manage to momentarily evade the vampire but Ariel doesn’t believe Joshua’s story. That is until Maximilian uses his powers to create a vision of her dead mother. Now, fully aware that vampires are real and all too aware that she is a target now, the pair don’t just have to evade the vampire but find out how to destroy it altogether.

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After a frantic, mysterious and exciting opening, it’s from this point that the movie slows down and never really manages to pick back up again. The base idea of the ‘vampire hunts pair through the desert’ should be strong enough on its own but alas, things are changed up and not for the better. First, they go to an isolated church that only exists for someone to give some over-the-top explanation about evil.

Then they arrive at Ariel’s friend’s house and the movie grinds to a halt before things slightly pick up at a police station leading to the film’s best bout of actual horror in the finale, followed by the actual ending which just feels meh.

It really doesn’t help that the two main characters don’t exactly have the best chemistry and some of their dialogue might make you cringe.

It’s a figurative bumpy road of a movie that doesn’t satisfy but still has enough good things about it to make it notable. One of those good things is how it’s shot. The film often looks great and the early night-time desert portions feel cold and isolated. Likewise, the day portions really feel hot and dry.

Another positive is how the movie builds the mystery surrounding the vampire and Joshua. Why is it so focused on him? It’s questions that you’ll ask and Ariel should probably ask but she can’t as that would lead to the film’s big reveal. Something that does work in the context of the movie but lacks the gravitas needed. Especially as there is some serious sequel baiting going on here.

Will you want to see more of this? That’s down to individual taste but the lack of satisfaction that is felt come the end credits is hard to shake off.




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  • Carl Fisher

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There's No Such Thing as Vampires (2020)
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