Photo: ‘Night Teeth’
‘Night Teeth’- New Take on Old Trope
If one thing is clear, there will always be an audience for anything vampires. From the 1930s film ‘Dracula’ to one of the biggest franchises ‘The Twilight Saga’, vampires have taken a bite in the film industry and are not letting go. Netflix has gifted us with a vampire original of their own, ‘Night Teeth’. While still holding on to the old rules that vampires can’t be in sunlight and a dagger to the heart is fatal, this film offers a new take on this repeated subject. Jorge Lendeborg Jr. portrays a young college student, Benny, who moonlights as a chauffeur for the night. When he picks up his clientele, it’s immediately not what he expected his night to be like. Debby Ryan and Lucy Fry are Blaire and Zoe; they have a list of parties to go to before sunrise and Benny is there to make sure that happens. As the night goes on Benny’s suspicions become true and he must now cope with being held captured by two beautiful vampires who are thirsty.
‘Night Teeth’ is filled with great fight scenes, romantic tension, and corny vampire lines. Though the writing can come off as corny at moments with the amount of “sucking” jokes, it overall felt like a complete story with overlapping exciting plots. Benny’s brother Jay played by Raul Castillo was a key role and guided the audience with exposition without being too forceful. This film doesn’t break any new ground with the vampire genre but offers a fun and exciting watch that has viewers thirsting for more.
Good vs Evil
This film does not have a clear sense of who is supposed to be good or evil which makes it more of an exciting watch. Benny, the protagonist, is of course considered to be good, but when he is tossed into this frightening night, he struggles with his own morality. As viewers, we want to root for the humans because that’s who we relate to, but there is something about vampires that has us leaning in their direction as well. What adds a thrilling element to ‘Night Teeth’ is the fact that it isn’t simply humans versus vampires, but also vampires versus vampires.
This creates more drama and even cooler fight scenes. Since Benny is the “fish out of water” in this scenario it lets audiences decide with him what they would do if they were placed in the same situation. This could be considered the only type of audience participation in a film that makes it feel so fresh and in the moment with the characters. Though this film uses a lot of the same mythology that surrounds vampires, it explores the possibilities of living in harmony with humans, but then breaks its own boundary by asking why would they want to?
Looking back at film and television shows that deal with the topic of vampires, there is a serious lack of diversity involved. Usually only starring straight, white, beautiful people and how difficult it is to live forever, there hasn’t been too much room for people of color. The genre of horror has been quite white for many years, but recently there has been a wonderful rise of involvement from all communities. Looking back at the past there have been some people of color in the vampire world like ‘Blacula’ starring William Marshall and Vonetta McGee and ‘Ganja & Hess’ starring Duane Jones, but they haven’t been given the same kind of spotlight as others. More recently there was the Netflix film in 2020, ‘Vampires vs. the Bronx’ that deal with not only vampires but gentrification. ‘Night Teeth’ is able to bring more diversity to the horror-comedy world.
Jorge Lendeborg Jr. is the perfect fit for Benny and offers the perfect amount of innocents and bravery. What makes his character so lovable is his relationship with his Abuela played by Marlene Forte. He still lives at home with her and respects her rules of the home, but has a sense of responsibility for her as well. A great cinematic choice was that they always spoke Spanish to each other, there are a lot of moments in the film where characters are speaking English mainly for the audience’s benefit rather than the story’s.
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Set Design and Cinematography
Visually ‘Night Teeth’ is very appealing to the eye. Brilliant set design by Jeremy Reed and the direction of Adam Randall, this film was a neon light show. The majority of the film is taken place during the night time which gives any filmmaker a dilemma. We have all been witness to the night scenes in films that aren’t dark, just blue. This film was able to perfectly balance the night sky with the night scene of Los Angeles. Whether they were entering a party at a mansion or going to an underground club, the production design was appealing without being too dark or distracting.
The cinematography also was complimentary to the film and we have Eben Folter to thank. There were many beautiful shots involved, but there was one, in particular, that was a jaw-drop moment. Benny is having a conversation with Blair and without giving any spoilers there was a change of pace in the conversation. The camera slowly turns upside down while leaving the two in focus and it was literally showing how Benny’s life was turning upside down.
‘Night Teeth’ is a fantastic watch for people who love vampires and want to bite into something new this Halloween season.
Stream ‘Night Teeth’ on Netflix today!
Actors: Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Debby Ryan, Lucy Fry, Raul Costillo, Alfie Allen, Megan Fox, Sydney Sweeny, Alexander Ludwig, and Marlene Forte |
Directed by: Adam Randall | Written by: Brent Dillon | Produced by: Michael Lynne and Erica Steinberg
By Jack Colin
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Jack Colin is a playwright and screenwriter with an immense love for film & television which drives him to learn from and share his passion with anyone willing to listen. Living life as a trans man, Jack wants his writing to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ members and share the positive stories that are so often ignored through his work at The Hollywood Insider, he is eager to give readers a confident outlook on life. The storytellers of the world are the ones who decide what happiness can be. Jack takes pride in The Hollywood Insider’s mission statement to stray away from gossip and to lift up voices in entertainment with supportive and meaningful stories that will promote strength and unity.