Movie review: 'Vampire Hunter' is both bloody and bloodless

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If a movie is going to mess with history to the degree that "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" does, rewriting our most illustrious president as a ruthless slayer of the undead, it should at least be more fun than what director Timur Bekmambakov ("Wanted") serves up here.

Screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith adapts his genre-mashing novel, which shows us a pre-political Lincoln (played with proper gravitas by Benjamin Walker) getting recruited by an anti-vampire trainer (Dominic Cooper) as the bloodsuckers establish themselves in the American South.

But when Lincoln violates the two rules of vampire hunting — falling in love with Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and seeking an outside career in politics — the results are an unholy alliance between the alpha vampire (Rufus Sewell) and the Confederacy, which makes the Civil War a battle to not only end slavery but to keep vampires from overrunning America.

Bekmambakov stages some outlandish sequences, but for all of Walker's dynamic ax-swinging moves and the graphic slow-motion spurting of blood, the action doesn't have any emotional oomph to it. The aura of sepia-toned self-importance drains the movie of the kinetic boost a red-blooded horror fan craves.; —


'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'

Opens Friday, June 22, at theaters everywhere; rated R for violence throughout and brief sexuality; 105 minutes. For more movie reviews, visit