“Night Teeth” takes benefit of the simplest half about vampire storytelling—that a lot of the foundations concerning the bloodsuckers are already identified by the viewers. Growth, there’s your character growth, your stakes, your worry of daylight. However, as an alternative of attempting so as to add one thing vital to their lore, vampires develop into certainly one of many cliches on this underwhelming horror-action-comedy that has little charisma of its personal.
The film’s most enjoyable element, even with its abundance of splattered blood, neon lights, and goofy dialogue like “I wager you give good blood,” is a human character performed by Jorge Lendeborg Jr.. Earlier than he’s caught up driving around vampires, he’s a skateboarding faculty pupil who falls asleep in school, has a crush on somebody whose boyfriend laughs at him, and makes music whereas dwelling along with his grandma. Kinda generic, Marty McFly-like stuff, however, Lendeborg Jr. has the sort of neurotic comedic presence and the soulful eyes when he’s in peril, that present why that trope is a dependable cliche. So when he will get to do some moonlighting as a chauffeur for his brother’s driving service, he’s a formidable surrogate right into a gory Los Angeles underworld that includes the work of his new shoppers.
Blaire (Debby Ryan) and Zoe (Lucy Fry) are out to trigger some bloody chaos, all with an enormous grin. Blaire, candy by vamp requirements, has been a bloodsucker for only many years, however, Zoe has been in this manner for hundreds of years, and it provides to her vicious, sadistic presence. Anywho, they initially inform their driver Benny that they’re hitting totally different events in the evening, and should be dwelling earlier than daylight. However, it quickly turns obvious to him that they’re traditional vampires, sucking blood and killing folks as they go, all in a mob-like transfer to take over non-vamp territory (extra on that later) and uphold the chief of their “gang,” Victor (Alfie Allen). Benny is initially trapped in this situation, however finally chooses to go together with it when his brother Jay (Raúl Castillo), who occurs to guide one of many 5 gangs whereas additionally being a chauffeur, is put in peril.
“Night Teeth” will get some aptitude with its showy model, like pictures that slowly flip the digicam the wrong way up, and a palette of neon blues, greens, and pinks that muddle the display however flip practically every location into some sort of nightclub. Director Adam Randall and his crew have some discernible enjoyable with the entire indulgent nature of this sexy, goofy idea, and there are just a few impressed touches, like chew-‘em-up sequences with Blaire and Zoe beating up their targets within the background of a short motion scene, whereas our surrogate Benny stands in worry within the forefront.
However the world-building right here sucks, and it turns into a significant part of how this script by Brent Dillon foolishly desires to be about extra than simply the craziest evening of Benny’s life. There’s a complete bunch of wordy enterprise about 5 vaguely outlined gangs attempting to guard their vaguely outlined territories, a few of them together with vampires and a few of them together with hunters, whereas Blaire and Zoe make a transfer on these totally different areas, breaking guidelines that had created peace, and extra. As an alternative of enhancing the motion, like how “Underworld” did with Lycans and vampires conflict all through its franchise run, this world-building (a lot of it by way of characters simply explaining it; dreadful) slows the whole lot to a halt. One mid-film monologue specifically, saddled onto Debby Ryan, has her talking within the script’s major type of shorthand. Throwing in a five-gang conflict ought to add to the stakes, however as an alternative, it provides causes to look at one thing else.
There’s an overriding need all through “Night Teeth” for it to be an L.A. story, particularly in how its context includes snide feedback about how the bloodsuckers run Hollywood. However, the film turns into obnoxiously superficial itself, maybe most clearly when it contains Megan Fox and Sydney Sweeney, its two greatest stars, for perhaps 5 minutes of screen-time. As an alternative of including to the movie’s cred, their flat line-delivery about vampire enterprise and humorless presence, complemented with flashy robes, exhibits how a lot of “Night Teeth” can lose what little allure it has—particularly when the backstory takes up a lot area. It’s a particularly gaudy second from a film that desperately desires to be as edgy as fangs tearing right into a throat, however merely isn’t.