“Vampires vs. The Bronx” – Movie Review

It’s the Halloween season and Netflix is getting in the spirit with a ton of exciting horror releases this month, the latest of which is the amusingly titled Vampires vs. The Bronx.  But don’t be fooled by its title, which almost sounds like a parody.

This latest supernatural horror-comedy is both fun and lighthearted, while also dealing with some very real social issues, but in a subtle, non-preachy manner.  So let’s sink our teeth into Vampires vs. The Bronx!

The Boys Who Cried Vampire
The film opens with a neighborhood of the Bronx dealing with mysterious disappearances, and while a real estate company (with Vlad the Impaler on their logo) is buying up buildings left and right.

If you start seeing these guys around town, you’re in trouble!

A group of neighborhood kids led by Miguel aka “Little Mayor” begin to suspect that vampires are behind all of this, and respond in the exact way that you would expect kids to.

They watched Blade as “research” and start snooping around this mysterious real estate company, only to get in trouble for trespassing, and of course everyone laughs off their vampire claims.

So they have to figure out a way to save their neighborhood from this unholy creatures, all while no one believes them.

They may be young, but they wind up being the Bronx’s best hope.

Neighborhood Ensemble
A lot of what makes this movie work is the very authentic locations of shooting in and around the Bronx, along with its really strong cast.

It features a great ensemble including Method Man as a priest (which is kind of humorous on its own), Shea Whigham (Joker, American Hustle), Chris Redd (SNL), The Kid Mero, Jeremie Harris (Legion), Sarah Gadon (11/22/63), and even Zoe Saldana of the MCU fame.

It’s a bit strange seeing Method Mad as a priest, but he does make for a badass vampire-fighting one.

Having a strong cast helps make this community feel genuine and “lived in” so to speak.  It also makes it all the more effective and satisfying when the community comes together later on (which is all we’ll say to avoid spoilers).

Deeper Than It Seems
Right away, Vampires vs. The Bronx has more to say than most PG-13 horror-comedies aimed at teens.  Horror is very often a great avenue to convey real world issues by extrapolating them with a supernatural element to explore them.

This film takes the very real issue of gentrification but explores it via the lens of vampires, which is actually the perfect metaphor.  Like gentrification, vampires can seem elegant and upper class on the surface, but they’re actually bloodsuckers who drain the lives of their victims, much like how the process of renovating and “improving” neighborhoods to increase property values leaves many lifelong residents unable to afford to live there anymore.

In real life, the Bronx has seen its share of gentrification, and it hasn’t been without controversy. Some see it as a positive revitalizing of the area, while others see it as driving up housing costs, forcing low income residents who have been there for years to reluctantly leave.

It manages to blend its constant humor with a very real though-provoking theme, the fortunately isn’t beaten into the heads of the audience (like 2019’s Black Christmas did).

Overall, Vampires vs. The Bronx is a lighthearted horror-comedy that is able to make commentary of class conflict and gentrification, but without ever getting preachy.  Plot-wise, it’s a bit predictable, but twist and turns aren’t really its purpose.  Its purpose is having a lot of fun, a few laughs, and boasting strong Fright Night meets Stranger Things vibes!

Vampires vs. The Bronx is streaming exclusively on Netflix!

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