Vidar The Vampire is a horror-comedy out of Norway. It has it’s moments but for the most part it manages to land in an area that is neither scary or funny, it’s mostly just kind of strange. A horror-comedy about vampires is naturally going to draw comparisons to What We Do In The Shadows. While that film was extremely clever in it’s look at the everyday life of modern day vampires, Vidar feels like it is trying too hard.
At the beginning of the movie Vidar is a simple Christian farmer. He lives with his mother and his life seems simple and more than a little boring. Vidar longs for more out of life and he gets it when he encounters a vampire in the barn. He is turned and goes to the city to live a life of excess and decadence. The funniest moments in the movie come from the fact that Vidar is not your everyday smooth, sexy, seductive vampire. He’s still basically his old awkward self and has a lot of trouble claiming his victims.
The vampire that turns Vidar is a confusing character. Maybe it’s lost in translation somewhere. He seems to be a vampire, Vidar keeps calling him Jesus and he kind of looks like Father John Misty. His role in the film isn’t important though, as this is strictly Vidar’s story. Writer, director and star Thomas Aske Berg does a good job in the role. He is able to convey the beaten down spirit of Vidar early in the story and the confusion and frustration after his transformation.
The movie is shot well. There is an especially effective sequence in which Vidar follows a young woman who had just insulted him down and alley. Not only is it the scariest sequence in the film but it is also it’s funniest. The camera following her down the alleyway looks great.
This sequence, however, is also one of the biggest problems that Vidar The Vampire has. The way the film views women is absolutely abhorrent. In the midst of today’s #MeToo movement, this sort of thing doesn’t play well. Every woman in this movie is seen as either an object of sexual desire, a potential victim or both. If there were one single female character in the film that was shown any respect it would be easy to say that the rest of this is a metaphor for the way that men treat women on a daily basis. The absence of such a character just makes this whole thing come off as a misogynistic piece of work. I love independent horror and I expect better from it.
Vidar the Vampire is not scary and it’s not funny. After watching it I could only help but feel that it was at best a film that missed the mark and at worst a mean spirited diatribe about how little value women have. Horror-Comedy is a tough genre to pull off, few manage to do it. Maybe one day Thomas Aske Berg will be able to do so but today is not that day.