The Little Vampire

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

When Tony Thompson (Jonathan Lipnicki) is moved to Scotland by his parents, he finds himself the butt of jokes and picked on all the time. From the schoolyard bullies to his own teachers, it seems as though no one likes or understands him, a situation Tony doesn’t expect to change any time soon. This worsens when he reveals some dreams he has been having, which involve vampires, a mystical stone, and some sort of an epic battle. At this point, he is laughed at even more and even parents seem to think he has lost his sense of reality, perhaps due to the move. But when Tony is seen in his vampire costume by a real vampire on the run, he learns that his dreams might mean something after all. He soon befriends the young vampire, named Rudolph (Rollo Weeks) and soon enough, he is introduced to the whole fanged crew, who are hesitant at first, but then realize Tony wants to help them. Can Tony and Rudolph locate the magical stone that can reverse the vampirism, all while everyone thinks Tony is insane and a ruthless, but bumbling vampire hunter is on the prowl?

This one seemed a little too “Goosebumps” from the trailer, so I had serious doubts about The Little Vampire. I love vampire flicks and all, but one aimed at kids seems a little off, especially with Jonathan “Did you know the human head weighs eight pounds” Lipnicki in the lead. I’ve now seen the film and I have to admit, this was no normal kids movie and with such terrific production values, I think this one has a broad scope of appeal. I didn’t think this one would have much of a budget, but man, this flick looks slick and well designed, which adds a lot to the film’s effectiveness. The Little Vampire has some great set designs, costumes, and makeup, all of which are vital elements in vampire movies, so I am pleased to them in fine form here. In addition to the production values, this film is also very well directed and photographed, which helps remove the “kids flick” label even more. I think this movie has some instances which could spook real young kids, but in the end, The Little Vampire is a solid choice when you need a release for the entire family to view.

He might be a youngster, but Jonathan Lipnicki can more than hold his own, which is impressive indeed. This is only his third film and even so, he seems at home in front of the camera, which tells me he has some solid potential within him. He seems to coast through on cuteness right now, but I think as he grows, he should be able to find a place as a real actor. If nothing else, he is one of the more likable child actors in the business at this time and in this case, he adds a lot of comedy and charm to the film. You can also see Lipnicki in films such as Jerry Maguire and Stuart Little, as well as rerun episodes of The Jeff Foxworthy Show. The rest of the cast here includes Alice Krige (Sleepwalkers, Chariots of Fire), Tommy Hinkley (Men At Work, Back to the Beach), Pamela Gidley (Cherry 2000, Liebestraum), Rollo Weeks, Jim Carter (102 Dalmations, Brassed Off), and Richard E. Grant (Spice World, The Age Of Innocence).

Video: How does it look?

The Little Vampire is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame edition also included on this dual layered disc. As usual, New Line has issued a terrific visual transfer, although this one shows more grain than we’re used to from the studio. But the grain is never extreme and doesn’t hinder the picture much, so I won’t knock the score too much. The colors look vivid and rich here, with natural flesh tones and no signs of smears in the least. No issues with the contrast either, which is razor sharp and allows for a perfect amount of detail to be seen. Once again, New Line has proven they can deliver some of the finest transfers in the game, let’s hope the tradition never ends, shall we?

Audio: How does it sound?

I wasn’t expecting much from this disc here, but the included Dolby Digital 5.1 track is excellent and provides a rich audio experience. The film’s soundtrack is presented in fine form here, woven through the surround channels to enhance the impact, which works to perfection. The surrounds also see a lot of action from the sound effects, which are much more effective than I had thought, even if not on the same level as more action driven flicks. But the dialogue isn’t lost in the mix, as it comes through loud and clear, no problems in the least. This disc also included a 2.0 surround track and English subtitles, in case you have need for them.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer, some recipes, three interactive games, some talent files, a wealth of monster/vampire jokes, and some DVD ROM content.

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