After being beaten and raped, Isabel clings to life and asks for help from a woman who stopped her attacker. What she didn't realize is the helped she asked for changes her life completely as Isabel was given the blood of a vampire to keep from dying. Isabel now wanders the streets at night trying to understand and come to terms with her transformation, and all of the answers to her problems seem to lye within an underground club known as Temptation.
I've never been into the vampire sub-genre at all; not even staples like "Near Dark" or "From Dawn Till Dusk". So I already had some preconceived notions before I played Vicious Circle's recently acquired UK independent film "Temptation" since the artwork used for the movie seems to indicate that it's another one of those late night cable titty-flicks. Thankfully, what I actually got was an intelligent character based drama tale that is more in the vein of the French erotic-horror movies from the 70's.
To boil the plot down to its most basic structure; "Temptation" is about Isabel a young woman who's life takes turn all in a single night. She witnesses her boyfriend cheating on her; she's severely beaten and raped and amidst trying to survive from her attack asks for help from a vampire. Except for her to live she had to become a vampire, but this is unknown to her as she soon blacks out. The rest of the movie revolves around Isabel's life becoming undone while she has to figure out what has happened to her.
It's been awhile since I've seen a vampire movie where the story is a heavily dramatic character film, rather than a campy wooden stake stab-fest, or some awful cornball romance movie. That being said, part of the movie's story does involve a bit of a romance element to it with Isabel resembling the head vampire's former lover from hundreds of years ago. As cheesy as that may sound to some, Julianne and Catherine make it work very well in the story but especially with the characters and their progression in movie.
Because the movie focuses mostly on the character and story development, there wasn't much in the way of vampire attacks. There are enough to help keep the movie interesting and for plot points, but it's not what "Temptation" is about so these scenes are placed sporadically throughout the movie. With that in mind, the movie is not very blood. It is used when necessary and they are definitely not shy about letting the blood flow in this movie but it's nothing too graphic or intrusive. This is a direction the film could have easily gone with since the vampire attacks go beyond the mosquito bites on the neck and instead goes for the full-on feeding frenzy.
I'm sure many people are disappointed to find out that "Temptation" is neither a skin-flick nor a bloodbath, but honestly, I'm glad it's not. It's nice to see something different for a change and in the case of this movie, to me; it really did seem to tap into that vein of erotic-horror movies from the 70's from directors like Jean Rollin. With its focus on the characters, attention to the aesthetics of the movie (some really nice cinematography for DV), and even though I didn't mention it earlier, the story. One of the big reasons why I thought "Temptation" touched on those movies is that the movie looks and feels like an adult fairy tale. Where you have a character that is able to abandoned her old life for a new one and a better one. Since I'm not a vampire fan the movie didn't leave a lasting affect one me, but I was certainly impressed with what they were going for and what they were able to do with "Temptation". So with that being said; with the right audience this movie is going to do play extremely well for them.