Written by Old Bluffer 14th Nov 2007
(please read The Stranger before reading this review)
Since the death of The Stranger, it is fair to say that the population of Barrow has fallen considerably. In fact this is something of an understatement, as virtually everybody is wiped out in an absolute orgy of feeding during the first assault by the vampires.
I'd go as far as to say that never before in any previous horror movie have we seen so many people so outclassed and helpless. The reasons for this are simple: we've already seen that they are cut off from any help, they have no electricity, the weather outside is deadly cold and the vampires are awesomely powerful. They can move at a speed faster than the human eye can track, are monstrously strong, virtually unstoppable with normal weapons and are utterly savage. This is no Van Helsing comic book film either, no humans have super abilities to even out the score, so all they can do is die.
And believe me, oh do they die...
The vampires are more like animals than humanoids, as they sadistically slash bloody rents in their preys' faces and bodies, before ripping out huge gobs of flesh with their shark-like teeth. In one majestically awful scene, the camera takes to the sky to aerially track packs of vampires slaughtering the terrified townies through the snowy streets of Barrow. I suspect this shot was inspired by the BBC's Planet Earth series where they did a similar thing with wolves, and the result is truly original. From directly above we see small groups of desperate humans blasting away with shotguns as they flee, before falling to their hunters. Despite the gunshots though, the scene is definitely more wildlife documentary than battlefield, and by the end of it there are literally lakes of dark red blood all over the town.
Marlow, the vampire leader, is more than willing for his troops to enjoy their sport, but warns "Their heads must be separated from their bodies. Do not turn them." - hinting that this is a mission of extermination, rather than recruitment.
Inevitably, the feeding frenzy slows, and the remaining humans have no choice but to try and hide for the remaining twenty or so days before sunrise. This allows various characters' back stories to emerge, the main ones being the band of townies that Eben is looking after. They are all holed up in the hidden attic of one of their neighbours, and are reasonably safe from discovery. Unfortunately they don't have provisions for several weeks though, and must try and get to the general store to stock up during the next blizzard. [Despite their desperate situation, they try and bolster their confidence by stating that their one advantage is that they are used to surviving in the northern cold, implying that the vampires aren't. Given that the female vampires are (naturally) dressed in skimpy goth miniskirts and show no sign of discomfort in the arctic climate, this seems like an incredible assumption!]
So, our plucky band of survivalists make their way to the general store, and are soon loading up with canned goods. From another room though, they hear gruesome sounds of feral feeding... With complete dread, they investigate and see a tiny vampire girl, gnawing idly on a corpse's neck.
"I'm done playing with this one. You want to play with me now?" she enquires malevolently, and the humans back off sharpish.
As the sheriff, Eben readies himself to shoot her with his handgun. Next to him is Beau Brower, a hulking Hell's Angel type who has already expressed the opinion that he thinks he could kill plenty of the vampires. Eben aims his gun at the doorway. He knows she is about to come tearing towards him, and the audience knows it as well. When she does attack though, it is still bloody scary. Her speed is too much for Eben and she is soon clawing at him, screaming her painfully high-pitched vampire killing cry all the while. Beau and the others try and help in the chaotic and violent melee, but this one little girl is almost more than they can handle. Suddenly, an axe slams into her and everyone looks round in shock - it is wielded by Eben's younger brother Jake, and he continues to whack her until she is still. This is something of a major character arc for a lad whose only previous skills appeared to be playing Risk, and he is pretty shaken up about it.
Meanwhile, one of the other humans, Carter Davies was bitten by the vampire girl, but he's not about to tell anyone just yet...
So who was The Little Vampire Girl?
As with the Stranger, we have no idea who this girl was. After the fight, the townies wonder the same thing, and nobody recognises her. So, she could be one of the vampires own, rather than an accidently turned townie. However, she speaks with a different accent to the other vampires, so who knows?