Watching your neighborhood crumble around you isn’t even the scariest thing to worry about in Vampires vs. The Bronx. Gentrification is nothing but a small problem when you’re surrounded by soulless vampires come to suck the community dry. Directed by Oz Rodriguez, who also shares a writing credit with Blaise Hemingway, Vampires vs. The Bronx features some pretty rock-solid performances from a handful of younger aged actors alongside fan favourites including, Jaden Michael, Gerald W. Jones III, Gregory Diaz IV, Sarah Gadon (Enemy), Cliff “Method Man” Smith (Scary Movie 3), Shea Whigham (Waco), Coco Jones, Joel “The Kid Mero” Martinez, Chris Redd (Scare Me), Vladimir Caamaño, Jeremie Harris, Adam David Thompson, Judy Marte, Richard Bekins, and Zoe Saldaña (Avengers: Infinity War).

Miguel (Jaden Michael), Bobby (Gerald W. Jones III), and Luis (Gregory Diaz IV) are doing everything they can to save their neighborhood from disappearing. The bodega they practically grew up in is about to close it’s doors for good, Bobbby is starting to run with the same dangerous crowd that got his father killed, and there’s a good chance they’re all going to living somewhere else by next summer. Like so many small neighborhoods in The Bronx, their block is part of a new “urban renewal” program. In a fun nod to classic vampires, the “Murnau Corporation” is buying up every property in the area for its sinister purposes.

 

 

First, it looks like your run-of-the-mill gentrification nonsense, but what’s really hiding behind all those boarded-up businesses and apartments? Is it really an organic frozen yogurt shop or is it….a vampire nest! The vampires are trying to keep a low profile, quietly stealing the block away it’s residents but suspicions are at an all-time high after the neighborhood is wallpapered with missing person reports. Of course, as wealthy land developers, the vampires have the police in their pocket and no one really wants to believe a bunch of punk kids screaming about vampires.

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Vampire-wise, Vampires vs. The Bronx features some pretty badass bloodsuckers. They got long, possibly white hair. Everything single one of them is wearing long, bespoke black outfits. And, of course, these vampires also have long, pointy fingers. A dead give away you’re dealing with an actual vampire, and not just a goth kid that graduated into more expensive clothes. And while we’re on the subject of vampire standards, these soulless creatures of the night burn up in such a cool and unique way. As though driving a stake through their heart is striking a match, the vampires ignite like a tinder box (which I’m told is something very very flammable). This generally comes and goes as quick as your average vampire-fire but there is one vampire death in particular that really takes it time and is maybe my new favorite vampire kill.

 

 

Vampires Vs. The Bronx is a little light on story but what else do you really need to know other than the vampires are bad, and the vampires must be stopped? Yes, this is obviously going to play a lot better if you live in the Bronx or have spent any time in a metropolitan neighborhood, but it’s still a hell of a lot of fun. Where Vampires vs. The Bronx really shines is in its characters. The young cast is great (a rarity), and really help nail down the fun PG-13 feel of a “kids vs monsters”. Also, MVP award to Joel “The Kid Mero” Martinez as bodega owner Tony, who (in true bodega fashion) carries everything in his store from hand sanitizer to DVD copies of Blade vampire hunting tutorials. Vampires Vs. The Bronx is a perfect low-stakes horror that pokes fun at the extinction so many communities are facing right now in major cities, but it’s also just a super fun vampire flick and a great mid-day movie to include on you Halloween watchlist this October.

Vampires vs. The Bronx is available to stream on Netflix right now. Let us know what yout thought of the film, and share your vampire hunting tips with us on Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!