The vampire genre has been inexplicably taken over by angsty teen characters and, frankly, it sucks.(Pun intended.) So, why should you watch this particular movie about a teen who is undergoing The Change? Let me tell you. Aaron’s Blood uses a common vampire plot line while testing moral boundaries and questioning just how far a parent is expected to go to save their child.
Starring James Martinez (House of Cards) as Aaron and Trevor Stovall (Hate Crime) as Tate, this father and son pair are still reeling from the death of Aaron’s wife. Trevor blames his father for his mother’s death and the two struggle to maintain their relationship and themselves. To make matters worse, Tate is the victim of bullying at school and he suffers from hemophilia. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t take long for Tate to incur an injury at the hands of his bully which sends him to the ICU. With his body unable to stop the blood flow, his brain is being compromised, but a blood transfusion miraculously saves his life.
Upon returning home, Tate is no longer the same boy. He can now see without his glasses, he has no appetite for food, he’s exceptionally strong and all of the other usual stuff that accompanies being a brand new vampire.
As with any vampire movie, there is the token vampire hunter and his accomplice who take it upon themselves to get rid of Tate. Aaron manages to intervene at the last second and this is when everyone realizes that, yes, Tate is becoming a vampire. After some unfortunate decisions made by Aaron, who conveniently works as a phlebotomist and is, therefore, able to easily obtain information about blood donors, he find himself at a crossroads. Does he kill Tate before his heart stops completely, thus completing the transformation to vampire, or does he try to find a cure?
As one learns to accept with independent cinema, some of the performances are wooden and some of the special FX aren’t very special, but Stovall’s direction is really quite wonderful. The score that accompanies it, fits perfectly and there’s more than one really effective misdirect. Couple this with the truly compelling ‘what would you do?’ questions that the movie poses, and Aaron’s Blood manages to bring something new to the teenage vampire tale.
Lisa Fremont | Twitter: @lcfremont