When Nadja, the rebellious, parentally oppressed vampire weightlessly glides through the empty Pixelvision streets around her and causes an unsuspecting male to bleed from the inside out, just by looking at him intently – all to the score of the maliciously depressing Portishead – I can’t help but think this is quite possibly the best updated vampire tale filmed to date.
Almereyda’s (dare I call it) piece of art is shot in part using an obsolete Fisher Price Pixelvision camera. This, first of all, is just unique in and of itself. Secondly, the film retains it weirdo, indie cred by having an executive producer by the name of David Lynch (who also appears as the receptionist in the morgue), because c’mon folks – even if he had final cut on this, it’d still end up being surreally amazing! Go ahead and add me to your list of bloggers who are Lynchians, I know it’s nothing surprising.
Nadja is a modern horror story with a classic taste. Nadja is not happy with her life as a vampire (are they ever?), and it comes from being part of a dysfunctional family of them. With her father’s death, Nadja is finally free of the restraints of her seemingly in denial-that-they’re-vampires vampire family. No one’s going to tell her when and when not to suck the blood of the living, be damned! The best brush stroke-of-genius either Lynch or Almereyda or somebody had was the artistic caress that softens the blow of an otherwise hard-to-swallow (or rather, conceptualize) modernized vampire film. The haunting images transformed into a black and white mosaic are a veritable flashback to the chiaroscuro horror of Begotten.
Vampires have always symbolized an expression of humans innermost desires, reducing us to mere blood cells. Nadja, in all her Fisher Price expressionism, literally reduces humans to blood cells.