The horror comedy Living Among Us is a fun, fresh take on the vampire sub genre that successfully delivers both solid comedy and satisfying gore.
If vampires were real, would the world accept them? After a blood borne illness is revealed to be caused by real-life vampires, a documentary crew scouts out a nearby family of bloodsuckers to see if these creatures of the night can really coexist with humans.
And right off the bat, I’d like to get something out of the way. I really like documentary-style and Found Footage, but the glitchy cameras have to stop. It’s 2018, and cameras just don’t do that anymore. We’re more likely to not get any footage at all if the video was in any way corrupted, instead of a pixelated mess. This is especially true because the crew is filming a family of vampires, not ghosts or any other paranormal-type monster.
That said, I very much enjoyed Living Among Us.
If you put these sorts of tropes aside as par for the course, you’ll find that Living Among Us from writer/director Brian A. Metcalf offers a convincing look into what a world of vampires might really be like.
They’re normal people — with families, jobs, hopes, and dreams. Sure, they may be on an “all liquid diet,” but it’s gained through generous donations rather than murder. Their house is modern and clean. They open their home to strangers who are unconvinced at best. They may drink blood, but they’re not animals!
That’s not to say these vampires don’t have their quirks.
Andrew (John Heard), the head of the household, tries his best to dispel ancient myths — like the one about vampires having no reflection. Elleanor (Esmé Bianco) is a posh, motherly figure, helping Andrew prove to the camera crew that vampires are far from the devilish creatures they were once portrayed as.
Their efforts are all for naught though, as two other housemates, charming Blake (Andrew Keegan) and brooding Selvin (Chad Todhunter), secretly show the camera crew a darker side of vampirism: burning in sunlight and an insatiable bloodlust.
After one of the crew is attacked in their sleep, and after witnessing a string of murders at the hands of the family, the camera crew fights to escape alive. And what a fight it is.
Multiple times we are treated to high energy scenes and gore galore. Even the music is high energy, with video game-like riffs that are enough to get anyone’s blood pumping. And it’s not some stuffy, somber documentary either; these vampires are really funny.
Blake craves the spotlight, wanting to be interviewed even as he’s killing someone. In fact, most of the movie is him trying to make it into the final cut of the film. And when the camera crew mistakenly thinks they will be staying at a decrepit house, they are instead met by Elleanor in front of a nicely manicured front porch across the street. There were also some one-liners toward the end that, although corny, still put a smile on my face.
But I think my favorite thing about Living Among Us was that it could be both light-hearted and serious. The documentary interview scenes, news reports, and all-around danger were on par with other found footage films — and really made me think about how this would turn out in real life. Those were intermingled with not-the-best CG of things like vampire super speed and the kind of acting you’d find in a lower budget movie.
All of this combined makes for a terrific film.
If you’re looking for fun, it’s here. If you’re looking for a touch of realness, it’s here. If you’re looking for blood, it’s definitely here (duh, it’s a vampire movie!). LIVING AMONG US is a good time and a good watch. In the words of ever-personable Selvin, “It feels nice.”