Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter book is a biographical book written by
Seth Grahame-Smith. The Grand Central Publishing Company, based in the
New York, published the book in 2010. The book is an action horror that
revives President Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter. In 2012, Seth
adapted a screenplay from his book. The movie comes with a similar title
to the book. Jim Lemley, Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov directed the
movie. However, the novel is more interesting than the movie. The book
is significantly different from the film. This comes about because the
book gives details related to real history. It also explains the manner
in which the book’s story relates to vampire story. On the contrary,
the film is a brief summary of the idea illustrated in the book. This
essay hypothesizes that the book is more interesting and detailed than
the movie.
According to Seth Grahame-Smith, he found it challenging to write the
book’s manuscript because he had to summarize the vast idea in the
book in a short movie. In the movie, the directors have added new
vampire beliefs in order to make it more interesting. For example,
directors used 3D effects to show that vampires can bleed. In an
interview with “Time Entertainment”, Seth admitted that the film
gives a shallow idea of the original message in the book. Moreover, he
accepts that many assertions he makes in the film are different from the
information in his book. This makes the film lose its historical meaning
(McIntyre and Owchar 1). Viewers expecting to learn historical
information from the movie are disappointed upon discovering that
Seth’s manuscript had to be twisted slightly from the implication
communicated in the original manuscript in order to satisfy his message.
Although the movie has astounding graphics that are enhanced with 3D
technology, viewers are not able to understand the underlying concepts
that influence these ideologies in a comprehensive manner as the book
explains. For instance, the movie deviates from the traditional European
folklore on vampirism without giving a detailed explanation (Vejvoda 1).
The movie does not explain some beliefs such as vampires withstanding
sunlight as well as, bleeding when cut is not very clear. However, book
readers are able to understand the reasons for this change for the
author gives detailed information about this concept.
The book is also more elaborate than the movie in that it gives
background information of vampire philosophies implied in the book. An
example of this explanation includes the reason Henry Sturges recruits
humans for killing vampires, although he was one of them. The book
explains in details that he is a former vampire killer who lost his
humanity and family (wife) to vampires. Although the movie script
explores Sturges’ background, it does explain his past in details as
in the book (Grahame-Smith 9). Moreover, the book examines some vampire
stories that were narrated before Lincoln became a vampire killer. For
instance, the book looks at the history of Abraham Lincoln’s family in
detail, right from his grandfather until Lincoln was born. On the
contrary, the movie does not elaborate the historical background of
these individuals. Readers of the book are also in a better position to
understand the background of Lincoln’s life (Grahame-Smith 13). The
writer has used precise and detailed language to help readers develop a
clear vision of Lincoln’s environment during his childhood.
According to Screen Rant, the concepts illustrated in the movie are
similar to many others in the movie. The difference between the classic
vampire movies from the previous decades’ and the Abraham Lincoln:
Vampire Hunter film is advanced technology the directors have used in
making the film. On the contrary, the novel gives a unique story with
elaborate explanation on the concerned characters. The author writes the
book in a journal approach based partially on an Abraham Lincoln’s
“secret diary (Kendrick 1).” According to the author, the 16th
President of the United States kept the diary for recording essential
experiences in his life. Additionally, the author explains that Henry
Sturges, a vampire, gave him the diary. The author explains the reason a
Henry sought to befriend Lincoln and sharpen his skills as a vampire
killer elaborately. He recounts to Lincoln regarding how an evil vampire
killed his family (Grahame-Smith 28). Most of the details that readers
are able to understand in the book are not available in the movie.
IGN review asserts, “The movie’s a hybrid horror movie and
straightforward biopic with the final result being neither fish nor fowl
(Vejvoda 1).” He further claims that the movie does not incorporate
scare or exciting tactics that can help it to rank among popular horror
films. On the same note, the directors were not able to make the film
silly enough for a comedy. The reviewer adds that the movie takes itself
so serious to the extent that it fails to create an impression of having
any fun. Vejvoda concludes that viewers are hardly able to refrain from
feeling ambivalence as they were examining the gory chaos in the movie
happen. In this review, the reviewer claims that the movie has limited
well-choreographed action episodes. Only a couple of set pieces contain
impressive action (Vejvoda 1). One of these scenes includes the chase
between a vampire and a Lincoln in a fierce horse stampede. The other
interesting episode featuring serious action includes the burning
bridge/climatic railroad scene where Lincoln, speed and Johnson fights
Adam and Vadoma in a bridge. The other scenes in the movie feel
excessively orchestrated. The reviewer claims that it feels as if one is
watching a videogame, which an individual can only appreciate the
graphics and artwork that the directors invested in order to develop it.
Moreover, the movie contains several vampire fights, but the directors
forgot to include a section with a real and impressive bite. This makes
the movie quite an interesting for views in spite of the fact that
Abe’s gun, axes and hybrid weapons are creative.
On the contrary, the Los Angeles Times review on “Abraham Lincoln,
Vampire Hunter” an optimistic review on the book. According to
McIntyre and Owchar (2010, p. 1), “A writer who can transform the
greatest figure from 19th century American history into the star of an
original vampire tale with humor, heart and the bite is a rare find
indeed (McIntyre and Owchar 1).” These reviewers explained that Seth
Grahame-Smith`s books set a special niche for itself by transforming
19th century history into a popular 21st century book. On another Los
Angeles Times review on the “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter film”,
the author asserts, “Even the occasional runaway train is not enough
to hide the fact that a movie consisting of multiple vampire attacks
quickly gets repetitive and exhausting. Not to mention very, very
bloody.” In a bid to make the movie interesting by incorporating
several vampire-fighting scenes, the crew behind shooting this movie
ends replicating fight tactics such that viewers end up getting bored
with the scenes. The only positive thing that these reviewers note is a
creative use of 3D images. The vampires have scary deontology that
frightens viewers when they scream.
Although the Time Magazine’s review on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
novel had mixed feelings, the author describes Grahame-Smith as “a
lively, fluent writer with a sharp sense of tone and pace (Rothman 1).”
Furthermore, the authors claim that the movie is excessively neat
because after viewers have made the connection of the movies’
storyline, the outcome feels obvious. “Once the connection is made, it
feels obvious, and neither slavery nor vampirism reveals anything in
particular about the other. One could imagine a richer, subtler
treatment of the subject, in which the two horrors multiply each other
rather than cancel each other out (Rothman 1).” Just like other
reviewers, Los Angeles Times’ movies critics discredit the film for
having shallow actions. They claim that the numerous fights and bloody
scenes could have been interesting if the directors used varying
fighting techniques. Although they agree that, the 3D images were
impressive enough to attract viewers’ attention, the features are not
enough to divert attention of the viewers as they have a wide variety of
films they can choose.
Several reviewers of the novel assert that it was greater than what they
were expecting. It spins a story that is related, but from another
perspective that they did not expect. After flipping a few pages,
readers cannot avoid to continue reading the book since it recounts fact
from an unknown perspective. Moreover, the recount of facts in this
story are explained an extremely convincing manner such that almost all
the readers claim that the felt obligated to revisit their history
books. Grahame-Smith uses a journal style writing approach, which sounds
too convincing for anyone to doubt his or her history knowledge. The
author uses high creativity to in reviving Abraham Lincoln using the
alleged “secret” diary. The fact that he incorporates some
well-known historical facts in this book makes it appear factual.
Moreover, the authors are thrilled in that the book does redirect
attention of readers from common historical facts that are commonplace
from autobiographies, biographies and historical documents. According to
Sullivan (2012, p.1), “No doubt, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will
become a bestseller in its own right. It does not contain the whimsy and
wink that Zombies did (Sullivan1).” This author explains the thought
of converting one of the most respected American presidents into a
gothic nightmare is awesome. Moreover, he notes that the author
incorporates twisted historical facts in his recount. In order to
support the twisted facts, he quotes from an alleged secret journal that
Abraham Lincoln kept. The sequence of events in this book is adequate to
convince every reader that their historical knowledge about President
Lincoln is not completely accurate.
Grahame-Smith uses his skills effectively in attaining a real historian
voice. Readers cannot get bored considering that the author moves from a
third person, first person to the first person assertions. Reviewers who
have read the book claim that it sparked their interest regarding
Abraham Lincoln’s lifestyle. This is because the book’s plot is
genuinely haunting, and attempts to stick to real facts. The book is
pages long, thereby making it of standard length (Turan 1). It is
neither too long to strain readers nor too short to leave readers with
hanging facts.
On the contrary, the movie received a rating of 35% in Rotten Tomatoes.
This rating was an average of 169 reviews by written by movie critics.
The standard score mean score of the movie rating was 4.9/10. According
to the reviewers, “The film “has a visual style to spare, but its
overly serious tone does not jibe with its decidedly silly central
premise, leaving filmgoers with an unfulfilling blend of clashing
ingredients (Rothman 1).” The reviewers further assert that the movie
has two distinct genres whose ideologies fail to mix efficiently. The
film also received 42% rating on Metacritic platform as was determined
by 35 reviews. Some critics said that they gave the film such low
ratings because its historical changes are gruesome and horrific in an
incredible way. In order to reconstruct a new version of 21st century
Lincoln who can fit in the character desired in this movie, the author
changes some essential historical critics that make the movie seem
incredible. Most of the reviewers assert that Seth could have attempted
to stick to historical facts (Turan 1). Moreover, the film’s
credibility is compromised for depicting Lincoln as a person whose
personality and faith in God fluctuated occasionally. Critics assert
that this claim appears forcefully inserted
Time Magazine’s Richard Corliss criticizes that the epic movie is
based on two parallel ideologies that sometimes converge, but they do
not have a logic flow. The critic adds that the tone of the movie is so
serious such that it does not complement the playful theme of the film.
This reviewer asserts that the film could have maintained a playful tone
found in the book, the directors changed it into a dreary and uptight
tone instead (Rothman 1). According to the same reviewer, the visual
effects are cartoon-like and unoriginal such that it exhausts any sense
of danger associated with the film. In another review published on the
Wall Street Journal, Joe Morgenstern comments that someone should have
informed the filmmakers that they should have created an interesting and
smart movie (Turan 1).
On the New York Daily News, Joe Neumaler gives the movie a rating of one
out of five. He explains that the tasteless movie is a collection of
monster flick and history lesson that are genuinely dangerous. While
some of the historical facts integrated in this book impress historians,
the content of the movie does not impress many viewers (Dargis 1). This
comes from the fact that the movie has only a single joke that does not
work perfectly in making the film interesting over time.
In summary, the evidence outlined in this research proves that
‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter` book is more interesting and
informative than the movie. This is supported by excellent ratings the
book critics give the novel, compared to the bad reviews that movie
critics give the film. The book reviewers identify some strength related
to the novel such as a detailed explanation of some concepts, excellent
tone and integration of diverse ideas in a great approach. Moreover, the
books combat actions are explained in a simple way that readers can
visualize the combats. This is unlike the 3D visual effects of the fill
that are so repetitive to the extent of making the flow monotonous.
References
Vejvoda, Jim, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Review,” IGN. 2012.
Web.
McIntyre, Gina and Owchar, Nick. “`Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter`
and `Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter`,” Los Angeles Times. 2010. Web.
Rothman, Lily, “Q&A: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Writer on
Literary Mashups and the Movie that Shouldn’t Exist,” Time
Entertainment. 2012. Web.
Kendrick, Ben, “‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ Review,”
Screen Rant. 2012. Web.
Dargis, Manohla, “Slaying With Silver in 19th-Century South,” New
York Times. 2012. Print.
Turan, Kenneth, “Review: A bloody, relentless `Abraham Lincoln:
Vampire Hunter`,” Los Angeles Times. 2012. Print.
Sullivan, Mike, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter` by Seth
Grahame-Smith – Book Club Questions,” About bestsellers. 2013. Web.
Grahame-Smith, Seth. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. New York: Grand
Central Pub, 2010. Print.
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