Not Like Others
- Not Like Others review by NP
To me, this Swedish vampire film is like an appreciative throwback to the handful of European horror films that proved popular in the early '70s and is a cosy bedfellow alongside the wonderful, and better-known 'Let the Right One In' from the same year. This isn't quite up there in comparison (not many things are), but it promotes a convincing lifestyle for modern-day vampires.
Two sisters, Vera and Vanja (Jenny Lampa and Ruth Vega Fernandez), celebrating the freedom their 'addiction' gives them, attend an illegal nightclub. Almost raped by a clubber, they drain him of his blood, little knowing he's the (now former) head of a notorious biker gang. As the gang pursue them through the night, these 'ordinary people' become the aggressors and the vampires are the ones we find ourselves sympathising with.
That's the main thrust of the film. It's a slim story told well and performed wonderfully. Events come at their own pace, and there's a bittersweet ending that proves very effective. Director Peter Pontikis also writes and produces, and happily, has not let the unfairly negative reviews this film garnered hamper his career. Thick with all the giddy delirium you'd expect two vampires to experience during a typical night, 'Not Like Others' (also known as 'Vampyrer') won't exactly tempt you join the undead, but might allow you to view them in a different light.
I love the classic idea of vampires, the grand, cape-swirling children of the night. But I also really enjoy films that suggest that vampires are perfectly ordinary people you would pass in the street.
This Swedish vampire story deals with two sisters who make the mistake of killing and draining a key member of a biker gang (which could easily be seen as self-defence as he was trying to rape one of them at the time). Suddenly our sympathies are with Vanja and Vera and the remaining bikers – the ordinary people – are very much the aggressors as they follow them relentlessly through streets and town centres.
This isn’t an eventful film, but I get the impression it is deliberately low-key. It’s just one event in the day-to-day (or night-to-night) existence of two vampires in the modern world, and as such it is worth watching – not least for the excellent performances, and the night-time filming, which puts over the loneliness and desolation the two sisters have to deal with.
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