Lulu (Aviis Zhong), Mason (Gijs Blom), Bin-Ray (Philip Juan), Anastasia (Anna Marchenko) and Alexander (Yen Tsao) are the heirs to the thrones of the biggest fortunes in Taiwan. They spend their days and nights just like any other rich, young and beautiful people do and they really don’t know the real world.
Their lives are full of excess and their young minds are filled with what ever desires they can imagine. Then one day they are invited to join a ritual, and when they wake up, they soon realise that they’ve all grown fangs and believe that they’ve been turned into vampires.
Dead & Beautiful is a teenage horror written and directed by David Verbeek which takes some of the familiar traditions of vampire stories and mixes it with more modern interpretations. As the group all get used to their new lives, it starts to feel very much like the old ones. Anastasia can still do the same social media things that she’s always done and as they hide themselves away from the sun, they start to consider what they could do with their newfound powers.
This leads to a divide between the group as some realise the extent of what they could do and others embrace the darkness which eventually leads them down a dark path. Whatever happens they realise that they have been changed forever.
The trouble with Dead & Beautiful is that although it does try to tell a tale about the rich elite, using vampirism as a metaphor for their lives where they have such unlimited resources, it barely scratches beneath the surface. This leads to the film only reflecting the character’s empty existence merely by showing their dead and empty existences.
This also leads to an ending of sorts that feels unfinished and overly long considering the barely 100-minute running time.
Also, there is a twist some way into the film, but it’s not all that impressive when it’s revealed and doesn’t help to conclude the story. For those who like their vampires to glitter then you may enjoy Dead & Beautiful. Otherwise you may just say fangs, but no fangs.
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