A man calls the emergency services after finding a corpse. Is a mythical creature responsible? We review the short film The Davenport Vampire after the jump.
After meeting with his local drug dealer, John (Brett Dohmen) decides to smoke his purchases in the comfort of his car, yet when he awakes, he finds that his car battery has died. To make matters far worse, he spots a car parked beside his with a dead man in the driver’s seat. What follows is a frantic call to the emergency services and the possible sighting of a vampire.
The Davenport Vampire has an excellent premise, and the fact that it is based on an actual real 911 call makes the whole plot even more interesting. The amount of prank calls and false flags the emergency services must receive on a yearly basis will be staggeringly huge, but just imagine if one of those crazy and far-fetched distress calls was real. How would the operator deal with it, along with the first members of the police force on the scene? This is a question that director Mark Schwab asks.
Also written by Mark Schwab, The Davenport Vampire is a decent little horror film with both positives and with negatives. As we stated above, the story is fascinating and it is brought to life by some competent film making and a good performance by Dohmen.
As with most short films being made on low budgets, The Davenport Vampire suffers from having so little money readily available to Schwab. There are instances of noise in shots where little light was available and some of the sound cuts out in scenes or is very low on one actor but high on another. The cinematography is also mixed. Some shots by Damen Birtola are fantastic, especially when John is smoking the Afhgan Hash, but then later in the film, some of the shots don’t really work as well.
Still, I return back to the story and the screenplay. The writing is decent and the dialogue is never forced. Horror is arguably the easiest genre of film to make, yet it is the hardest genre to get right. For every Psycho there is five thousand poorly made wannabes. For every Wes Craven there are five thousand people with little more than access to a camera (I’m talking about you James Nguyen and the Soskas). Schwab and his team have got many things right with The Davenport Vampire and the premise would make for a great horror feature. Maybe, with time and experience, they will get the opportunity to adapt their story for a much larger film with a decent budget. If they do, I will line up outside the local cinema, frothing at the mouth in anticipation.