The Thompsons (2012)




Has it really been 6 years since 'The Hamiltons' made it's mark on the independent horror scene? Perhaps it doesn't seem that long because the film has become a VOD and FearNet favorite, allowing it to constantly cultivate a new audience for itself. With the film being rather well received, generally intriguing, and still the subject of debate, it's no surprise that directors The Butcher Brothers, would find a way to churn out a sequel. What is a surprise is just how poor the film really is.

We pick up with Francis trapped in a box (which reminds me of that old No Doubt song) like Ryan Reynolds in buried. His voice over (get used to it) starts to fill us in on whats been going on with our favorite daytime vampire family. He even manages to get a shot in at the 'Twilight' franchise, but Francis complaining about 'Twilight' is a very pot-kettle-black situation. Turns out Francis can't remember things linearly, so we jump around the first part of the film a lot. There was some trouble at a diner in Cali somewhere. The youngest brother, Lenny (really? Lenny?) is shot in the shoulder during the fracas and the rush is on to save his life.

Somehow they end up in jolly old England, despite the fact Lenny needs to be on a blood IV or he will die. Desperate and seeking help, Francis, in fill on Edward-lite mode, drives out the country on a thin tip that someone there might be able to help them. Once there (his car breaks down of course) he soon tracks down who he's looking for. Turns out it's another vampire clan (does the Volturi know about his) who are more than willing to help. Riley, the youngest daughter of this new clan takes a shine to Francis (of course she does) but it turns out that despite the fact everyone else in the family is a vampire, alas she is not. Cough (Twilight) Cough (Bella Swan) Cough, Cough....sorry something was caught in my throat. Francis sends for his family. Then everything turns bad. The plot gets a bit murky here. The head vampire guy wants Darlene for breeding, but the rest of the boys dead because he wants to remain the head vampire clan. It doesn't really work. Through some chicanery, the Thompson boys manage to murder all of the competing clan, but only after Darlene is gang raped (something that's never addressed after it happens). Riley rides off with Francis into the sunset and I wonder where the last hour and a half went.

'The Hamiltons' worked because it was fresh. It felt new. The twists were really twists. The movie stayed with you after it was over. It was a bit whiny but bat shit crazy enough to get away with it's emo overtones. 'The Thompsons' looses all of that charm and craziness essentially turns itself into a second rate 'Twilight' wanna be, and 'Twilight' sucks, so...you can figure it out.

This is Cory Knaufs film. He's the star. It's his story. Whereas in the first film, Francis was a bit of a whiny bitch, it was understood, he was a young teenager. Young teenage boys are expected to be whiny bitches most of the time. Six years later though, sounding like Edward Cullen, complaining about "your place in the world" just comes off as weak sauce.

'The Hamiltons' was a film that pushed limits, tackled taboos and left you wanting to show it to as many people as possible. 'The Thompsons' is a predictable, play it safe sequel that will be forgotten long before it's predecessor will. If you loved 'The Hamiltons' and absolutely must see it, then get ready for disappointment. If your on the fence, I recommend skipping it...

* and 1/2 out  of *****

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