Branko Tomovic, Gorica Regodic, Joakim Tasic and Eva Ras
A man from London comes to a small remote village in Serbia to look after the cemetery. He starts to have nightmarish visions and suspects the friendly villagers have a more sinister intention with him.
After witnessing a crime in London and looking for a place to hide for a while, a man comes to a small remote village in Serbia to take care of the cemetery. He starts to have nightmarish visions and suspects that the friendly villagers have sinister intentions with him.
Inspired by the real vampire cases that occurred during the early 1700’s in Serbia, Vampir is written and directed by Branko Tomovic, who also stars in the lead role. We find Arnaut arriving in the small village of Rujišnik, being shown around the house he will be residing in for his stay as he has been hired to preserve the local cemetery, particularly from those who come onto the grounds attempting to steal items left by loved ones, as well as even stop grave robbers. As Arnaut begins to spend time around the cemetery and the village, he begins to have nightmarish dreams and begins to wonder if something more sinister is going on.
Vampir is a film that relies heavily on the atmospheric tension and dread that it’s creating to captivate us the audience, making us feel just as a paranoid and isolated as Arnaut feels when he tries to communicate with the local villagers, who are acting rather oddly around him. There are some interesting scenes that are displayed here that capture that tension perfectly, such as Arnaut being invited into a villagers home for dinner that leads to something that we the audience don’t see initially that puts instant fear into him. In terms of visual horror, a few of the nightmarish dreams work too, particularly one involving an old woman that is arguably the highlight of the film, as well as one involving the local priest arriving to visit Arnaut at his house.
Unfortunately the film takes so long to tease and setup the conclusion that it felt more tedious for me than engrossing, whether that was due to the budget or constraints of shooting a film during a pandemic, there’s a lot of eerie sequences but don’t really land in terms of the execution. I can’t tell as well either whether it was the copy I was watching the film on, but some of the dream sequences have no subtitles to them when one particular character is talking and I can’t tell if that was a artistic choice or not (I presume so), but that started to get irritating after a while.
Vampir is a film that can work for you if you enjoy atmospheric horror, but it just didn’t work for me.