Now available on DVD
Agnes Bruckner as Vivian
Hugh Dancy as Aiden
Olivier Martinez as Gabriel
Katja Riemann as Astrid
Bryan Dick as Rafe
Chris Geere as Ulf
Directed by Katja von Garnier
What has Hollywood done to our monsters? I don’t even want to touch on this new trend of explaining every single thing about our human killers, how they seem obsessed about some bullshit theories about what makes evil tick. What has me currently, is how we’ve robbed our monsters of any sense of mystery or terror. If we have a vampire film, they have to go to raves, and listen to goth music. Werewolves run around firing shotguns at each other. Does anybody not see how ridiculous that is? It’s impossible to have a scary monster if you completely humanize it. Blood and Chocolate goes beyond all those things, by being so concerned about not making anything remotely scary, or even faintly genre, that it becomes the softest most effete fantasy film you could ever have the misfortune of watching.
Vivian (Agnes Bruckner), is a young American werewolf, living with her pack in Romania. She sells chocolates during the day, and at night, wards off the advances of the pack’s alpha male, Gabrie (Olivier Martinez). The reason she’s in Romania (despite the obvious production benefits and incentives), is because as a child, she accidentally led a pack of hunters to her family’s home, who upon discovering they were werewolves, slayed them. Her life is a lonely tedium, until she meets a young comic book artist, also on the run from his own troubles. The two hit it off instantly, and start a
secret relationship. This doesn’t go over well with her pack. First off, they hate and mistrust humans, looking at them purely as a threat or food, and secondly, by pack law, Vivian is supposed to become Gabriel’s mate.
Tensions escalate, and when the comic artist gets in a fight, and kills one of the werewolves, the pack decides that the only solution is to band together to kill him. This puts Vivian in the middle, caught between her love, her family, and her destiny.
I almost vomited in my throat there, just a little. Like I could taste that bile for a moment. Okay, this thing just isn’t for me. It really shouldn’t even be reviewed on a horror movie website, because there is nothing horror about it. I’ve never read the novel that this was based on, but apparently it is well loved, and the film took the story in a completely direction. The story in the book was set in an American high school, and was much more grounded. Everything about this is just overblown. The European setting, the fucking accents, all the Bucharest extras. None of it seems right for the story.
The werewolves themselves are more of the changeling variety. They start as a human, then they leap into the air, and turn into a beautiful rainbow, and then the rainbow morphes into a wolf. Just a regular wolf. They should have just called this movie, “The Rainbow Wolves,” and it would have more accurately described what it was going for, and reached it’s target audience, which is girls under the age of eighteen.
The acting is fine, whatever. The actors do the best with what their given. I just don’t like what their given. Simple as that. Agnes Bruckner is completely pleasant, and relatively cute, but I’d be lying if I said that I thought she could carry this film. There’s just not enough going on in those eyes of hers, when so much of the film seems to hinge on her angst and internal conflict. I just don’t buy it.
The tone of the running commentary (the only bonus feature) included on this disc is warm, but vaguely pretentious, suitable for a film like this. Director Katja von Garnier and lead actor Olivier Martinez mostly point out what they consider the films’ many triumphs, and how beautiful the locations are, and how intelligent every choice is. There really isn’t any reason to listen to it.
If you want to see some good action, this isn’t the film for you. Nothing atmospheric, frightening, or thrilling happens. If you are in the mood for a romance, set in Romania, about a clan of magical rainbow wolves and an okay-acting, pretty looking woman, then go ahead, I won’t stop you.