NIGHT TEETH (2021) Reviews of Netflix vampire movie

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Night Teeth is a 2021 American horror film in which a young chauffeur has to fight to survive after picking up a couple of young women in LA. Unfortunately, the ladies turn out to be vampires!

Directed by Adam Randall from a screenplay written by Brent Dillon. Produced by Vincent Gatewood, Fiona Walsh Heinz, Terry Leonard, Charlie Morrison and Ben Pugh.

The 42-Unique Features co-production stars Debby Ryan, Jorge Lendeborg Jr, Lucy Fry and Alfie Allen.

Plot:
Benny (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) is a college student moonlighting as a chauffeur. He picks up two mysterious women for a night of party-hopping across Los Angeles. But when he uncovers their bloodthirsty vampiric intentions – and their dangerous, shadowy underworld – he must fight to stay alive…

Our review:
Night Teeth is visually stylish to a point (although the neon lighting is overdone) although the storyline comes across as ill-defined and, ultimately, somewhat vacuous, much like its arrogant vampiric bloodsucking protagonists (an analogy for the Los Angeles ‘elite’?). Even the kind of airheads that desperately queue for ages to get into supposedly trendy nightclubs are shown to be as shallow as the vampires: “These scumbags are just like cockroaches.”

Meanwhile, English son-of-actors Alfie Allen is spectacularly weak in a lead role that proves slightly distracting. Despite a running time that’s a tad overlong, this is still worth a watch for vampire fans, if only for a new take on the usual lore that’s as much about guns and gangs as it is about fangs. Maybe it’s a pity that Benny didn’t just walk away when he had the chance but the denouement satisfies.

Other reviews:

“Despite a likable lead and a constantly moving narrative, Night Teeth lacks bite. Not even an exquisite production design can distract from the underbaked world-building and a predictable story. Many of its supporting players are underutilized, and worse, many sleepwalk through their parts when not forgotten.” Bloody Disgusting

Night Teeth will not win any CG awards. It shows its budget with the shady CG effects. Some of the movie is exciting as Benny has one crazy night.  This is a movie where the chase is more fun than the catch. The action is definitely a mixed bag in Night Teeth.” Bulletproof Action

“Even when Night Teeth arrives at its final showdown, its results are unclear […] The supposedly vast vampire underworld feels insular and limited, stripped of the all-encompassing power the characters imply. Randall gives Night Teeth a familiar neon-colored look with plenty of cool purples and pinks, but it’s not as visually inventive as recent Netflix originals like the Fear Street movies.” CBR

“Sprawling with glamour and style, the city of angels is on display in this fast-paced, campy thriller. There aren’t many scares here, and it doesn’t cover any new ground, but it makes up for that with a grounded story full of high tension and likable characters.” Deadline

“The myriad uses of predator archetypes, like vampires, in supernatural fables have robbed them of their ability to impress. One can consistently predict what’s going to happen in the end. Obviously, because not many writers are brave enough to take risks. Following the pattern, Netflix’s Night Teeth fails to impress due to a lack of story and substance.” Digital Mafia Talkies

“The setting and plot may seem derivative, but they are all means to an end […] The key to enjoying Night Teeth is to take it for what it is: a spooky romp, not a nuanced take on the human condition. That said, its final act does include a set piece I’ve never seen in vampire media and a final twist that I definitely have.” Inverse

“What is, at its core, one big bloody road trip across L.A. eventually culminates in a thrilling full-circle finale. The gore and special effects work harmoniously—my favorite effect is the gnarly deaths of vampires. Benny may regret accepting his chauffeur job, but a bloodthirsty audience will not regret the time they chose to spend with this unconventional stylistic horror thriller…” Josh at the Movies

” …the series of nightclubs and dive bars in which much of that action is staged provide some eye-popping scenery. But the details of the vampire world are too vague to leave a lasting impression, and Night Teeth finds more success in its well-polished visuals than its underdeveloped storytelling, making for a perfectly watchable (if not particularly memorable) Halloween streaming selection.” The Lamplight Review

Night Teeth does possess a certain, admirable momentum in its almost non-stop, nighttime adventure. It’s not enough of a distraction from how little thought or care went into developing this world, this story, and these characters.” Mark Reviews Movies

“Writer Dillon and director Randall keep most of Night Teeth tight and taut, never letting what could start to feel repetitious […] gets too stale by the third round.  There are enough interesting things going on with Benny slowly discovering what’s going on after a few stops and characters that refreshingly aren’t obnoxious toxics so you want to remain engaged.” The MN Movie Man

“It was fun at times and included all the stereotypical vampire anecdotes you expect in a movie like this. There is a little bit of romance, some cool vampire incineration and, vaguely interesting unexplained weaponry. There is enough here to warrant a one-time watch even if the runtime outstays its welcome.” Mother of Movies

“The ending of the movie stays true to the entirety of it, meaning that it is just as predictable as the rest of the movie. However, it is not perfectly tied up in a pretty bow and does leave some loose ends, which is appreciable. The neon lighting throughout the movie lends the movie a more young-adult feel, and the soundtrack attempts something similar.” The Movie Culture

” …the action beats are OK and the climax is cleverly conceived, even if so much that comes before it is dull and credulous, with Lendeberg never once registering an appropriate reaction to this supernatural horror that’s just been revealed to him, in all its gory glory.” Movie Nation

“Underutilizing actors with recognizable skills […] Night Teeth is an enervated parade of hot colors and cold hearts. Brent Dillon’s script delivers pinpricks of wit […] and the cinematographer Eben Bolter knows his neon. That’s one reason the movie’s decadent nightclub vibe is more fully realized than any of its characters…” The New York Times

“It delivers on its promise of an exciting atmosphere, but it doesn’t have much else to offer. The vampire genre has become over-saturated, which has made it increasingly difficult to find unique angles. Night Teeth mildly entertains, but it ends up being more of a nibble than a bite.” Showbiz CheatSheet

“There are strenuously busy action scenes. There are scenes that nudge the plot along without connecting to anything else. And there’s the honestly creepy image of a row of glass booths in a basement where Victor keeps humans chained and unconscious, so they can be harvested for blood cocktails. It’s all served up, with glum sensation, for our entertainment, yet none of it invites our investment.” Variety

“Outside of The Babysitter franchise, Netflix hasn’t really produced a quality horror-comedy or even comedy with horror elements yet. Night Teeth isn’t an exception, but, like many of its films, while imperfect in different ways to different people, some performances likely will get universal praise. For Night Teeth, that is Debby Ryan and Lucy Fry’s performances, and likely they will be the ones that will lead Night Teeth to trend on Netflix for a week before it disappears…” Wherever I Look

Release:
Night Teeth was released on Netflix on October 20, 2021.

Cast and characters:
Sydney Sweeney … Eva
Alexander Ludwig
Debby Ryan … Blaire
Lucy Fry … Zoe
Alfie Allen … Victor
Raúl Castillo … Jay Perez
Jorge Lendeborg Jr. … Benny
Ash Santos … Maria
Bryan Batt
Marlene Forte … Abuela
Devyn A. Tyler … The Concierge
Hunter Burke … Daniel
Bridget Nicole Andrews … Clubgoer
Martin Bats Bradford … Kaleb
Tracy Brotherton … Hotel Lobby Guest
Robert Larriviere … Professor
Lee Coc … Andre
Chase Yi … Martin
Nandy Martin … Brittany
Jaren Mitchell … Tad
Reg Rob … Head Bouncer (Bruce) (as Reginald Robinson)
CG Lewis … Jimmy
Sydney Bell … Sydney Sweeney & Megan Fox Soundalike
Brianna Fernandez … Emily / Teenager
Callen David … Marten / Bodyguard

Technical details:
107 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital
Aspect ratio: 2.39: 1

Notes:
Deadline reviewer Valerie Complex commented: “As women are the center of the story, one question that popped up repeatedly while watching is why is there a lack of prominent roles for Women of color. Night Teeth takes place in one of the most diverse cities in the world, why are they missing from the narrative?”

Trailer:

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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