“Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter” (2012)

I was a bit surprised of knowing that a “horror” movie would have a historical title in line with Abraham Lincoln, one of impressive figures in the United States, especially dealing with the effort of banishing the slavery phenomenon. After looking at its name, what does it mean? I was so curious and I decided to watch it. The result is, “well, yeah, the historical part was great, but the vampire part, well, I cannot say it was bad, but it was a bit boring”. You want to know why and how, read the following comments, just for you.

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Abraham Lincoln is very well-know for his effort is establishing the process of uniting the United States as a country. A big part that I envy is where he stated that the slavery and freedom from oppression are the keys of establishing the unity of the United States. For this part, I really do like it, and I agree a long with what he stated. At the beginning of the movie, I thought that it would talk about historical movement in the United States with a “serious” demographic visual represented story about the anti-slave establishment. Then, here comes the mixing of this historical part with the story of “vampire”. Now, it seems that I was given a picture that those who live with the blood of the slaves is called “vampires“. Because Abraham Lincoln fought with the oppressor of the slaves, therefore, he would be called as the “vampire hunter”. It is interesting, isn’t it? However, my simple question at this point is that “what would Abraham Lincoln think when he knew that his name is being used as a vampire hunter”. From me, Rest in Peace, Mr. Abraham.

On the surface, I could see that the vampire part is almost similar to that in the Twilight, except the one that could kill the vampire is a living man who is free and healthy. Abraham himself loved to write (like me) and he is also literate enough in “reading” codes being sent to him to catch the vampire. Unfortunately, the driven power that brings his efforts to kill all the vampires is “revenge” when he was looking at the scene where his mother was being killed by a vampire. He saw that when he was about to sleep in the middle of the night at that time. Her mother was dead and soon he figured out that the person who killed his mother was a vampire.

If only he was not driven toward the revenge of killing the vampire, Lincoln would seem to be portrayed as the humble person with a noble character. He has a nice and lovely wife who always takes care of him and a cute boy who is so polite in front of his father. This character is then mixed with the characteristic of “vampire”. I am curious to understand the aspect of the “vampire” in this movie. To which extent does this vampire stuff deal with? I would assume that it could deal with the symbolic meaning of “enemies”. However, which enemies? Perhaps, the enemies portrayed in this movie are those that oppressed the slaves. This interpretation is only seen on the surface. It could be much deeper than this.

When I read this movie through present lens as a global citizen, Abraham Lincoln himself can be read and seen as the Americans who are willing enough to free any slaves from being oppressed. Vampires are those that do the oppression. The slaves are those that live their life in misery and poverty because they have been put in an unfair treatment throughout the story of the anti-slaves movement. From these three big stuffs, why does Abraham Lincoln fight with the vampires? Uniquely, there is a misleading vampire that also has revenge to his “big” enemy. This misleading vampire wanted to kill the big vampire, but he could not do it because he has turned into vampire. The rule is, “vampires cannot kill vampires, only a living man could”. The only thing this misleading vampire could do is to find an ally that has this quality. Then, in a such fortunate event, he found Abraham Lincoln who has high level of revenge to kill the same target, the big vampire.

Ideologically, though, this movie seems to present us with a mixing historical story. It is good in terms of its historical moment. What makes me keep thinking is the existence of the “vampires”. There is a scene where the big vampire mentions the slavery during Jews and Christians era. I would think that these “vampires” are the symbol of the oppressor. At this point, if we look at it through our current lens, we can ask ourselves, which oppressor? What makes someone or something being called as the “oppressors”? From which point of view we see the oppressor as the oppressor?

Someone or something can mean the oppressor for that particular individual, but for others, that someone or something may not or even cannot be seen as the same thing. At last, however, this movie is a bit entertaining, but the scary part is not that much challenging. Viewers need to watch this movie carefully. If you watch it on the surface, you would not be impressed with the existence of the vampires. If you watch it through different lens other than what you already have, you would be impressed of knowing what the vampires entail and imply at the end.

Have a good week everyone!

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