Running Time: DVD: 1 hr 19 mins
Studio: LIONS GATE HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Out Now To Rent and Buy
What is it all about:
In The Butcher Brothers, award-winning original film, “The Hamiltons” were a dysfunctional, orphaned family struggling in sunny suburbia. On the outside, they appeared normal enough but they harbored a very dark secret…the need to drink blood in order to survive. In this action-packed sequel, a bloodbath at a gas station in the desert puts the family on the run, eventually seeing them resurface in the U.K. with a new identity as “The Thompsons.” Desperate for protection in this unfamiliar country, the Thompsons seek out the help of a shadowy underground rumored to be sympathetic to vampires.
The Hughes Verdict!
One of the best horror films of 2006 has finally been given a sequel. But was it worth the six year wait?
2006 was not exactly awash with great horror films. Saw was already on its third outing, LeatherFace was having a New Beginning, while every film fan was glad to see Nic Cage burn at the end of that dreaded Wicker Man re-make. There was one film though that if found by horror fans, was instantly loved. A minor classic that even to this day is still being discovered to the joys of the film’s fans who have been shouting from the roof top at how good the film is.
I am talking about The Hamiltons, not heard of it? Well hopefully you will soon, especially if you see the DVD cover of The Thompsons staring back at you in you local Blockies, the long awaited sequel which going by the sheer quality of the film, we could hopefully see this franchise become a trilogy in the near future. Directed by The Butcher Brothers or by their real name Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores, The Thompsons is a vampire film with a real bite. Its bigger and louder than the original but damn, its a film that deserves special praise even though there may be fans who may be put off by the different tone which I get to in a bit.
As you can guess, the film is not called The Hamiltons Part 2, simply because the family has moved town under a different name, but even a change of a surname means the problems do not end. The family who thought the nightmare was over soon realise that its only just began. Thanks to a much bigger budget, more confident style by the directors and much better acting by the same returning actors, this is a sequel that fans have been waiting for and smacks the poor love fest shit like Twilight right out of the genre.
Don’t be put off by the fact you may not have seen the original, the beginning of the film does help newcomers into the plot with ease thanks to the narration of Francis played again by Cory Knauf. After the antics of the first film we see the family try to escape the past and have taken their problems to the UK. The family settle down in the village of Ludow where they hear news of another bloodsucking clan who may help them in their quest.
Horror sequels are always trying to up the ante with bigger set pieces, more blood and higher death count! Randy pointed out this little bit of knowledge in the middle of Scream 2. The Thompsons goes down this route and this is where the film may gain extra fans and yet lose a few. Under the disguise of The Hamiltons, the film was set in a drama style soap with a mystery edge that had viewers guessing to the surprise end. It was set up as an horror film but at its heart what we had was a dysfunctional family struggling with secrets and lies. It was unique and stunning which made the horror world sit up and take notice of The Butcher Brothers. Yes they have done the quite “ok” The Violent Kind but the simply awful April Fools Day re-make was a huge blotch on their CV, and yet returning to the world their created as done them good. This is a supreme attempt at horror, but like I mentioned, the film loses the quality the original give because of its more glamorous setting.
It may seem I am contradicting myself from saying one minute its brilliant and then its not but I suppose readers of this review will understand if they have seen the original. The amateur feel of The Hamiltons gave it a nice eerie quality, now its been replaced by a more professional feel. It does not make the sequel a poor film, but it does lose its essence but then fans who liked the first film but moaned at the lack of blood and bite will be jumping up and down in delight because the shackles are off and the gore is sprayed left right and centre.
With people with fangs all falling in love and losing the scare factor thanks to shit like Twilight, its nice to see Vampires back in their element here. This is blood sucking horror as it should be and the only highest praise I can give these films. Then if REC 1 & 2 is this generation’s Zombie franchise, then the Thompsons formally known as The Hamiltons should be classified in the same bracket for the Vampire genre.
Make no mistake these two films are Simply brilliant………….