Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
A former communist and his wife are sentenced to death for the apparent murder of the local town drunk. They get offed and buried while the villagers plunder their home. When someone dies in Romania, people must stay with him for 5 days to ensure his safe passage into the afterlife..and weird things happen. Meanwhile, a student named Vlad returns home and finds the death suspicious, wondering why it was so violent. Turns out that Tirescu and his wife are strigoi (undead vampires).
Is it good movie?
Well, as much as I like films with a message, I can't say I love them when they're really political and this one certainly strives to show the corruption of religion, politics and people in power. That said, this quirky little film certainly isn't bad, I probably just wasn't the best guy to review it as it didn't exactly suit my tastes.
It's cool that the movie takes place in Romania, back in the day when vampires really started to rise. It simply feels right and believable- it's also nice that these aren't lame, caped or sexy vampires, rather they're bloodsuckers who do what they need to do to survive. They follow traditional folklore, not the whole garlic/crosses deal.
Coming off as a sort of study of death, this movie certainly isn't very scary, but more of a dark, lighthearted and at times comedic film that is undoubtedly off kilter, if that makes any sense. There's a real real estate struggle here too, if that lights your flame.It's certainly not a barn burner of a film, and the pace moves slowly.
Something worth mentioning is that the acting in this film..well, it's different. Everyone seems stiff and unemotional and it's weird that everyone speaks bizarre english with a strange accent.
Another problem here is that although the film does have some funny moments, I got lost more than once trying to figure out what the whole struggle was about and it was made more difficult by the fact that everyone seemed so monotone. The setting is beautiful, but not utilized to the best of its ability, unfortunately.
Again, I'm not really sure how to feel about Strigoi- it's bizarre and at times funny, but also long, feels confusing and drawn out. Some memorable scenes are in there without a doubt (the Spirit in the Sky stuff and fast food scenes stick out), but ultimately I can't say I'd rush to watch it again. I suppose if you're a diehard fan of the genre or love your movies weird and offbeat, you should seek it out.
Video / Audio
If you go into this with patience and an open mind, you'll find a unique little movie that tries to charm its way into your life. It packs a bit of nasty gore with it, but that isn't enough to satisfy all tastes. I guess at the end of the day, I'll let you make up your own mind. I don't think Strigoi was for me, but it certainly isn't 'bad'.