Reel Shorts | Blood and Chocolate

26 01 2007

Young Vivian Gandillon (Agnes Bruckner) is carrying a heavy burden at the beginning of predictable horror film, “Blood and Chocolate.” Running through the streets of Romania, she has a lot on her mind. It seems ten years earlier, she was responsible for the death of her family when it was revealed that they were not necessarily human.

Now 19, she is living her life in isolation, content to make chocolates by day and hang in trendy secret clubs at night. Apparently Vivian is special – and a werewolf. According to their prophecy, a young woman will come along and usher in “the age of hope.” (Want to take a guess who that woman could be?) Just as she was resigned to her mundane existence she meets a mysterious American artist, Aidan (Hugh Dancy), who just happens to be working on graphic novel about what else – werewolves. What a coincidence!

Meanwhile, back at the Wolfpack headquarters, HWIC (Head Wolf in Charge) Gabriel (Oliver Martinez), is also restless. It seems that every 7 years, the leader of the pack takes a new wife. Currently, he is with Vivian’s aunt Astrid (Katja Riemann), who is disappointed that her time as the “first lady” is coming to an end. Word on the street says Gabriel is trying to keep it in the family and has his sights on Vivian to succeed her aunt. But, Vivian has eyes only for Aidan.

Featuring the obligatory “Falling In Love” montage, the two grow closer while she tries to hide her “secret” from him. Her young cousin and heir to the pack, Rafe (Bryan Dick), tries to divide this Romeo and Juliet. His insistence that Vivian is already “spoken for” only fuels their desires to be together.

Borrowing liberally from both “Underworld” and “Lost Boys,” “Blood and Chocolate” feels like an MTV-version of “Werewolf in Bucharest.” The sleek and buffed “catwalk werewolves” easily could be mistaken for Fashion Week models rather than actors.

You have to give the actors credit for trying to breath life into such corny dialogue. Witness Gabriel telling his son, “hunt as a pack or not at all.” In another scene, Vivian refuses to give Aidan her name when they first meet. I’ll give you one guess what he calls her the next time they meet – “Wolfgirl.” Her embarrassed look screamed, “Shh, not so loud; I don’t want everyone to know I’m in this hot mess!”

Later, Astrid tries to dissuade Vivian from running away with Aidan. “Tell me not to love him,” requests Vivian. With no comeback, Astrid simply tells Vivian to “run free.” I wanted to say, I wish you had told us earlier; I would have gotten a healthy head start out of the theatre. Talk about prophecy and “the age of hope.” My hope is that there’s no sequel to the chocolate mess.

Grade: D




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