Reviewed by Andy
Going to have to disappoint some readers early – this film has nothing to do with the synthpop Twins of the 80s! It is, however, a sequel to 2006’s The Hamiltons (no relation to *that* husband-wife pairing) and while The Thompsons stands alone pretty well it can’t be discussed without revealing a critical element of The Hamiltons so if you haven’t seen the preceding film, you may want to check that out before continuing here.
With that said, onto the sequel, and it’s ironic that the opening gets a little staggered here too, with an opening Tarantineo-esque non-linear structure that possibly has one level too many. Picking up soon after the events of The Hamiltons, the renamed family get caught up in a sequence of events that leave them on the run, separated and with youngest child Lenny (Ryan Hartwig) seriously injured. Francis (Cory Knauf) is left in England on a vague trail of someone who may be able to help. But then, nothing’s ever quite so simple for a vampire…
The Thompsons builds on the first film, with some nicely original elements being added to its mythology that continue to set it apart from other vampire films. In fact, without the setup needed to build to the blood-drinking revelation, the sequel has a faster pace and more bountiful bloodletting. Like the precedecessor it does have flaws – some of the dialogue especially for the English characters is clunky, and one individual’s affiliations and motives seem more driven by plot than character at times. Acting is solid for the Thompson family though more mixed for the English cast – there’s a bit of a “this is how the English are to Americans” element like with Spike in Buffy or Daphne in Frasier.
Overall though, The Thompsons is an enagaging and entertaining film. There’s room left for a potential sequel too – and with the style of the bookending voiceover, maybe it’ll see a bigscreen return for Fred Savage! ***