Movie Review – Kiss of the Damned (2013)

Kiss of the Damned
Directed by Xan Cassavetes
Courtesy of Magnet Releasing
Release Date: July 23, 2013


Although some critics feel they have been done to the point of absurdity, I still enjoy the vampire sub-genre of horror. Granted, there are many cliches that still linger in regard to the bloodsuckers, but I think most modern filmmakers are trying to put their own unique twists on them. KISS OF THE DAMNED is a pretty good entry into the vampire category, although it might not appeal to hardcore horror fans.

If you are not familiar with KISS OF THE DAMNED, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Magnet Releasing:

Beautiful vampire Djuna tries to resist the advances of the handsome, human screenwriter Paolo, but eventually gives in to their passion. When her seductive and highly volatile sister Mimi unexpectedly comes to visit, she threatens Djuna’s new relationship, and the whole vampire community becomes endangered.

Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed this film for the most part…but there are some things about it that kept me from loving it. I do have to commend director Xan Cassavetes for such a rousing and elegant debut, however; I believe this is her first jaunt into feature-length film, and she does a great job.

KISS OF THE DAMNED is almost more of a family drama that uses vampires as a backdrop as opposed to horror. Yes, there is some gore…and yes, there is vampiric tension…but there’s much more emotional interaction between the characters than hostility, and I finished the movie feeling as if I had just watched a Danielle Steel adaptation.

This is not a bad thing, by any means. The film is shot well and the actors do a superb job with their roles. But this is not what I would call a horror movie. In reality, this is more of a dark journey into forbidden sensuality. Think a darker, more intimate version of INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE.

The pacing of the film is a bit slow towards the beginning, and I feel like some of the emotional drama is a tad overplayed, but these are minor observations. Fans of dark romance and lighter shades of horror should enjoy this one immensely. The film hit store shelves and VOD yesterday.


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