It’s always very pleasing when a modern day horror sequel can bring something fresh to the genre, as well as evolve its own mythology.
The Thompsons, the follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Hamiltons, is certainly one of these sequels.
Narrated from the get-go by middle brother Francis (Cory Knauf), we pick up the family scattered across Europe in hiding for something unclear at this stage.
As the story evolves we find out the family is trying to locate another vamp family going by the name of the Mandersons. They require the help to heal youngest brother Lenny who was seriouslyinjured in the incident which put the Thompsons back on the run.
Francis, again as in the previous film, is the focal point of the narrative as he ventures to Ludlow on the outskirts of London, in search of this other family. He gets more than he bargained for after entering a seemingly harmless pub, manned by a family of vamps with very different menu preferences to the Thompsons.
There are many recurring themes throughout the film, with the most notable being the meaning of family and what it means to vampires and humans.
In the first film we saw the close bond between the Hamiltons, as they battled to protect their secret and live ‘normal’ lives in the eyes of the general public. Here we find a family with the shackles off, not playing by the conventional rules in their struggle for survival.
The cat was let out of the bag with regards to what they are, now the Thompsons are showing us what they can really do.
It’s clear from the first scenes that Directors the Butcher brothers are having a lot more fun with their source material.
In terms of blood and gore this is a much more violent affair than ‘Hamiltons’. The ravenous nature of the vampires is showcased in all its bloody glory, and it makes for a more brutal affair all round.
We also see a more impulsive collective, as the Thompsons now without a home and seemingly out of their comfort zone, need to adjust again to life on the road.
This coupled with the fact they now have a threat from their own species, seem to strengthen to bond between the four siblings.
Whereas all humans would consider vampires as monsters (unless you’re a Twilight fan of course), ‘Thompsons’ show the divide in the vampire species.
Here we have this new mystery family who enjoy killing humans and see the blood as a bonus, and then there’s the Thompsons who have drained cattle for so long that you may think they have gone soft; this of course isn’t the case.
The finale is suitably gory, with the Thompsons facing their biggest challenge to date; can they survive a pack of vamps with more bite?
Conclusively, not since Rec 2 has there been a horror sequel that has really pushed a franchise into a new stratosphere. God only knows what the Hamiltons/Thompsons will be called next, but count me in for another ride.