Wannabe (2008)

DVD Cover (Liberty Or Death Productions)
James Mannan James Mannan
Steffani Pieart Steffani Pieart
Robert Webster Robert Webster

5.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Vampire Film
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Review by Chad
Added: October 28, 2009
Wannabe is a short horror film from James Mannan (W: The Movie), and as the title would imply, it focuses on a wannabe: namely, a young lady named Viola (Steffani Pieart) who wants to become a vampire. Any good fangbanger knows that if you want to become one of the living undead, you have to find a real vampire to give you the gift of eternal life, so our heroine turns to the Internet in search of a potential infector. There, she meets a genuine vampire who agrees to suck her blood, and the tale takes off from there before culminating in the final "transaction" between biter and bitee.

There is more to the story than meets the eye, but for obvious reasons, I'm not going to tell you what happens. I will say that this is where the real enjoyment of the film comes into play, because it turns out that this is not your typical vampire film. There is a twist towards the end that takes the film in an entirely different direction, and to be quite honest, I didn't it coming at all. Granted, you may spot it if you know that a twist is approaching and are sitting there waiting for it, but as a casual viewer who is completely in the dark about the plot? It'll definitely catch you. I will say that you'll probably see the second twist coming after a certain event occurs and the credits don't immediately start rolling, but it does end the film on an entertaining note.

I also enjoyed the way that the vampire looked in the film. What you see on the DVD cover is what you get in the movie, and even though it is a rather simple design (a veil and a mask underneath it), it looks damned nice on the screen. This is what low-budget filmmaking is all about: these guys may not have had access to million-dollar makeup artists, but they were able to come up with something effective with just a few items from their local Wal*Mart.

Leading lady Steffani Pieart was quite good in her role, and considering that the weight of the film was almost entirely on her shoulders, the fact that she pulled out a good performance aided the film immensely. The person who played the vampire was also enjoyable, and even though we only hear their voice for the majority of their screen time, they were perfectly capable of selling the character.

I did have one complaint about the film, and it comes courtesy of the sound mix. I received my copy of the film courtesy of a screener which may or may not be the final product, but there were large stretches of time where the music levels and the dialogue levels were fighting for control. There were actually a few moments where I had to rewind the movie to hear what was being said, so a little more tweaking in the sound department would work wonders for the final release.

Other than that minor quibble, I enjoyed the film. It features a strong storyline, it has a great twist at the end, and it delivers some eye-candy in the forms of an effective villain costume and an actress who isn't afraid to disrobe for her role. Check it out when it hits DVD: it's "coming soon" according to the official site, and it's certainly worth picking up. 8/10.
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