Review by Sean Boelman
It’s October, and of course that means it is time for the obligatory deluge of horror and horror-adjacent content on streaming services. However, Night Teeth filmmaker Adam Randall has managed to deliver a movie that is mindlessly entertaining in a way that makes it a worthwhile addition to vampire movie canon.
The film follows a college student who takes a gig as a chauffeur to two young women one night, only to find himself unwittingly wrapped up in a conspiracy to take down the vampire underworld. As an action-horror flick, it’s mostly diverting — not particularly scary, but with action just creative enough to keep the viewer’s attention.
Ultimately, one of the biggest issues with the movie is that it doesn’t seem to understand who it wants its audience to be. For the most part, it appears to be a teen-ready blend of horror with action and romance genres, but then it shows the potential to be something much more gnarly if it would just go a bit more with the blood.
Also, like a lot of vampire horror movies, there is a very complicated mythology here. It brings to mind the Underworld series in that it presents an ages-long war between opposing factions which we are just supposed to buy into. However, in doing so, the film keeps itself from feeling like a satisfying, self-contained whole.
The character development in the movie is extremely straightforward and every beat of the arcs is predictable. It’s definitely a bit frustrating that the film tries to treat the romance subplot as something that is unexpected, rather than an obligation out of having two roles made for hot young stars.
Jorge Lendenborg Jr. is charming enough in his leading role, although his performance is nearly indistinguishable from any lovably awkward hero in a teen horror movie. Debby Ryan and Lucy Fry are alluring as the femme fatales, but also don’t give very distinctive turns. The standouts in the cast are Raúl Castillo and Alfie Allen, who ham it up in their supporting roles.
On a technical level, the movie has a bit more style to it than most mainstream releases put out by Netflix, but not in the expected way. There are some interesting things going on here with the action sequences, but the film does peak early, with the finale being somewhat underwhelming given the success of the earlier scenes.
Night Teeth is a fun time all-around, and while it definitely isn’t as effective as some of the movies it calls to mind, it pulls off what it sets out to do. It’s a lot better than it has any right to be given its generic premise.
Night Teeth hits Netflix on October 20.