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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

Film review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012), directed by Timur Bekmambetov

When Abraham Lincoln was young, his mother (Robin McLeavy) was killed by a vampire (Marton Csokas), although young Abe didn’t know this at the time. Some years later his father (Joseph Mawle) dies too, leaving the slightly older Abraham to fend for himself.

Abe (Benjamin Walker) decides to kill the man responsible for his mother’s death, and in the process comes across a man named Henry (Dominic Cooper), who saves him from becoming vampire food.

Henry starts training Abe to become a vampire hunter, and Abe later gets to work dispatching vampires at night, while working in a shop with Joshua Speed (Jimmi Simpson) during the day. He falls in love with Mary Tood (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and the rest is, as they say, history.

Also starring Anthony Mackie as Will Johnson, Rufus Sewell as the big bad vampire Adam, and we even get a cameo by Alan Tudyk for good measure.

From what I can gather, this film is basically a biography of Abraham Lincoln, with an added vampire plot. How close to reality it is aside from that I don’t know, but I guess if I were to see Lincoln I’d wonder where all the vampires are.

It’s a decent film, funny at times. There’s plenty of gore from the vampire-slaying. There’s a love story. There is more than one war to be fought and won. There are also many points where the story jumps forward in time and we’re left wondering if nothing happened during those years. First, Abe is speaking in public about slavery and someone suggests he should become a politician. Suddenly, there’s a time shift and he’s much older and now the president of the United States. Er, what? I didn’t quite get the hang of the time jumps.

As for the actors, I think they all earned their salaries. Walker did a great job going from naive teenager to grizzled president in the midst of a war, for instance, and I knew that wasn’t his real nose! At the same time, in a year’s time the only thing I’ll probably remember is that there was something about a burning train, and that Rufus Sewell had fangs.

And of course a vampire is capable of killing another vampire. Don’t be silly.

3.5 out of 5 toy swords.


An easily distracted Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel, when there's not a plague on.

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