Night Teeth (2021) [Digital]

There’s a lot of world building in “Night Teeth” and that’s not always a good thing. What seems like a movie based around two vampires and their inadvertent victim driver, morphs in to a very layered (to a fault) crime thriller involving two warring factions of hunters and vampires, a vampire mob boss, struggles for power, and turf wars. It almost feels like they intended “Night Teeth” to be part one of a trilogy. But I doubt we’ll ever get the complete picture of it all.

To earn some extra cash, college student Benny moonlights as a chauffeur for one night. His task: drive two mysterious young women around Los Angeles for a night of party hopping. He soon learns that his passengers have their own plans for him — and an insatiable thirst for blood. As his night spins out of control, Benny is thrust into the middle of a clandestine war that pits rival tribes of vampires against the protectors of the human world, led by his brother who will stop at nothing to send them back into the shadows.

There’s so much going on in front of and behind the narrative of “Night Teeth” that it tends to feel polarizing as if you have to play catch up. I guess somewhere there’s room for more exploration of this world, but for a movie that’s intended as a one and done, it feels derivative of every other vampires vs. hunters piece of pop culture I’ve ever experienced. The movie opts more for a vampire gangster movie than a horror movie, as what begins as a creepy ride to hell, transforms in to a drama about loyalties, botched raids, and even a night club ambush. That wouldn’t be so bad if the mythology were at all fascinating, but it sadly isn’t.

There’s not a ton of explanation for the supposed treaty between the species, or why there’s this grasp for control over the whole under world of vampire tribes. And why the inexplicable walk ons from Megan Fox and Sydney Sweeney? That said, Adam Randall’s direction is at least very good and his neon tinted world of the vampires after dark is alluring, to say the least. It’s no wonder Benny is terrified but soon very curious about what else this underworld has to offer him and his mundane life. This becomes especially true with the enthusiastic performances by Lucy Fry and Debby Ryan.

They’re two sides of the same coin and fascinating villains that seem to love inflicting pain, but also garner a hint of their lost humanity while riding around with Benny at the wheel. Star Jorge Lendeborg, Jr. is fine in the lead role, but Fry and Ryan pretty much steal the entire movie from under him the moment they’re introduced. “Nigh Teeth” is a fine movie in its own right. It by no means re-invents the wheel, but as stylish, bloody vampire fodder, it serves its purpose. 

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