Film #264: STRIGOI
3.75 out of 5 stars
This British made, but shot in Romania, black comedy about what can best be described as ‘vampires set loose in a small Romanian town’ really caught me by surprise and impressed me to no end. Director Faye Jackson and a virtually unknown cast create a thoroughly enjoyable and subtly humorous tale of a village torn apart by murder, suspicious land deals, and the living dead. The film is smartly written and directed with an eye toward balancing both the comedy and the horror (for want of a better word) in the story. This is not a laugh-out-loud comedy, but it is genuinely funny. It’s also not a horror film per se, but there are some definitely creepy elements to it. While the trappings are horror-esque, the story is more about living in a small town and the odd variety of eccentric characters to be found therein. It’s more about personal relationships rather than monsters. Catalin Paraschiv (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD: RAVE TO THE GRAVE) does an exemplary job as Vlad, a young man who’s returned to his hometown and finds himself at the center of these extraordinary events. While the film’s ending is a little open-ended and slightly unsatisfying, it only slightly diminishes all that has come before it. STRIGOI operates soundly on so many levels, I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about it. STRIGOI is a film I really enjoyed and heartily recommended!