On Netflix comes Night Teeth, a mediocre vampire film set in the Los Angeles night
A few opening bars give us the narrative context of the new film by Netflix Night Teeth: for centuries vampires and humans have put aside their feuds and instituted a truce between the parties. Yes, vampires exist and live in secret on the streets of Los Angeles. They are the real masters of the city, thirsty not only for blood but also for money. There are only a few clear rules: do not reveal your identity to humans, feed only on voluntary people and, most importantly, do not violate the territory of the Boyle Heights, the most notorious vampire hunters in history.
This is the narrative universe in which Benny moves, a young university student of Latin origin with the dream of being a music producer. One day he finds himself covering his older brother’s driver shift, and loads two charming and intriguing girls into his car who instruct him to take them to various mysterious stops in the Los Angeles night. Obviously the two girls are vampires, and the various destinations are nothing more than targets to satisfy their hunger for power.
Night Teeth it therefore presents us with a “soft” fantasy world in a contemporary pop context. Trap music, neon lights and secular vampires dressed as teenagers fill a picture that, minute by minute, appears more and more referential and soulless. At a more superficial glance, it could be compared Night Teeth to another production Netflix, aka Bright by David Ayer. In fact, both works try to establish a world building that can lead in the long term to other productions of the same narrative universe. Company that are trying to make several franchises of the streaming giant (see also the recent Army of the Dead which is already about to give birth to a spin-off chapter). Yet another attempt to create a shared world where I can coexist several connected serial products.
On closer inspection, however, one realizes that in reality Night Teeth he has no desire to build anything. The story behind this bizarre society where no one has ever noticed that vampires rule Los Angeles is sloppy, mundane and far too bite-free to be a bloodsucking film. The subject itself, if elaborated better, could also be appreciable: the aesthetics and the initial premise, of a driver who accompanies two vampires to various stops during the night, are very reminiscent of Collateral by Michael Mann, a fantastic film that saw a taxi driver give a ride to a dangerous and charismatic hitman with the face of Tom Cruise.
But obviously it is not really the case to compare Night Teeth to the work of Michael Mann. This new movie Netflix is directed by Adam Randall, and sees among the various main performers some quite unknown faces. In the role of one of the two vampires we find Debby Ryan, actress and singer from the world of the Disney Channel television series. Also noteworthy are two cameos, unfortunately quite sad, by Sydney Sweeney and Megan Fox.
Randall’s film is like fast food: served quickly, it fills your stomach and leaves you unsatisfied once you leave the restaurant. With Night Teeth Netflix he feeds us a “fast movie”, to watch to fill our eyes with images that will be forgotten a few minutes after the credits roll. We are faced with a mere consumer product, which does not want to “say anything” and which actually does not tell anything.
And it is a shame to see the theme of vampirism approached in this way since not even recently, just from Netflix, a series has arrived, Midnight Mass, which dealt with the theme of the creatures of the night in an original and revolutionary way. But what Midnight Mass owns, unlike Night Teethis an author convinced of what he does: an absolutely necessary figure even in the strictly more popular field of cinema (see the great authorial value of a director like Edgar Wright, to name one, who through pop has signed several films of excellent quality ).
But at the end of the day it is useless to be so angry with Night Teeth. These words could also apply to many other movies Netflix releases on a daily basis. But on the other hand, if it were not for these “fast movies”, mediocrity, who would think about it?