Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
In a world where vampires and humans have learned to co-exist, one vampire is committing heinous acts of murder threatening the peaceful bond. It is up to a policewoman, and the vamps brother to find a way to keep the peace.
Is it good movie?
Perfect Creature is a menagerie of style and genre. Part science fiction and part horror, part Charles Dickens and part Dark City. It is a world that looks from above as a bleak futuristic city with skyscrapers towering over the dark streets. But down below, there is a feeling of old Victorian England. Interestingly enough, this is a New Zealand film with a mostly New Zealand cast and crew. It presents a world where a group of vampires, who are known as The Brotherhood, have become a sort of religious icon. Their work with alchemy and a horrible plague have become a religious symbol for the poor folk living amongst them. It is fascinating to see these vampires treated as you would a priest or some other religious figure today.
When a vampire, born from a human named Edgar(Leo Gregory), suddenly goes on a murder spree, he threatens the peaceful relations between the two groups. The Brotherhood then enlists the help of the local police force. This includes Lily (Saffron Burrows), a woman who lost her family to the plagues that have been destroying the city. A representative of The Brotherhood named Silus (Dougray Scott) and Lily soon find some bad magic being practiced which may be causing the murderous behavior. This also plays as a statement of the class system, and the overzealous power of the church above those who blindly believe.
This is not a simple plot, but it is an interesting one. Director and writer, Glenn Stranding offers up some pretty fascinating images while still telling a unique story. It may drag a bit and not hit the highs that some of you may be looking for, but it still is involving for those willing to take a chance. Stranding is also able to get some strong performances from his cast. Saffron Burrows is wonderful as the woman who has lost everything that she loves. She is angry and hurting, just wandering through life with sadness and pain. Ms. Burrows is a terrific actress and brings intelligence to the role. As for Dougray Scott, I enjoyed his subtle performance as he faces off with his murderous brother and finds some secrets hard to take. The actors all do their part to keep things believable as science fiction and a good old-fashioned murder mystery merge.
Video / Audio
Video: This widescreen 2.35:1 transfer is quite good and presents the futuristic world nicely.
Audio: The 5.1 Dolby Digital also sounded quite good as sound is an important part of the film.
The special features are okay at best. In The Making of Perfect Creature (11:46), we meet the cast and crew as they talk about the making of the film. Pretty typical but I really kinda dig seeing more of Saffron Burrows.
And then we get Designing the Perfect Creature (8:39) which introduces us to the folks who did the set design (including folks involved in The Lord of the Rings). This is also interesting, but both are much too short.
That’s it… nothing else… aside from Trailers for “Night Watch” and “Wrong Turn 2”. Enjoy.
Perfect Creatures is a great looking vampire tale with an interesting twist. If not all-together a perfect film, it still is an easy watch as the Victorian design blends with a science fiction twist adding a bonus to the film. I also found Saffron Burrows terrific as a police woman caught in the war that is about to ensue. She gives a wonderful performance as a woman who lost everything important to her. If you don’t mind a slower paced vampire flick that may not be perfect, this is a unique vision that is worth a look.