Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

abraham lincoln vampire hunter poster 2012 movie review
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good concept

Story is dull and too episodic

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter

Studio:  Bazelevs Company

Genre(s):  Horror/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  June 20, 2012 (UK)/June 22, 2012 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

abraham lincoln vampire hunter benjamin walker axe

Must I pick up the axe again?

When his mother (Robin McLeavy) is killed by a vampire, young Abraham Lincoln (Lux Haney) discover a world of darkness surrounding him.  Vowing to kill Jack Barts (Marton Csokas), Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) is recruited by Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) to help him slay vampires.  Barts warns Lincoln that the life of a vampire hunter is dangerous and that he should avoid making friends and starting a family, but Lincoln’s love of Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and his friendships with Joshua Speed (Jimmi Simpson) and William Johnson (Anthony Mackie) will not be broken.  The vampires have a plan and the plan is brewing in the South.  As Lincoln moves up in the United States, the vampires realize he must be stopped if they ever hope to rule the world.

abraham lincoln vampire hunter rufus sewell dominic cooper

I love getting take out!

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter is a historical horror-action mash-up.  Based on the Seth Grahame-Smith 2010 novel.  The film was released to poor reviews and performed average at the box office leading it to be considered a box office failure due to the high production cost.

The novel version of Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter was fairly well received and was one of the books that was part of a wave of classic stories mixed with horror (like Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies and Sense, Sensibility, and Sea Monsters).  Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter almost feels like Abraham Lincoln is a distraction to a decent story.

abraham lincoln vampire hunter anthony mackie vampires

Bang…you’re dead!

The film follows Abraham Lincoln and does actually incorporate parts of his life in its telling which is clever.  Both Joshua Speed and Will Johnson were important in Lincoln’s life, and events like the death of his son William Wallace Lincoln helped shape him.  The vampires’ plot is mixed with these events and characters, but it might have been more interesting (yet less compelling to viewers) if the story circled around a close adviser to Lincoln like Johnson or Speed instead of Lincoln itself.  With Lincoln as the star it almost feels like a clever punchline that discredits the movie.

Benjamin Walker is a decent Lincoln.  He surprisingly does age well into the Presidential Lincoln and plays off the fighting decent.  Anthony Mackie and Dominic Cooper are fun side allies while Jimmi Simpson’s character gets to play a red herring throughout the course of the movie.  Rufus Sewell plays the villainous vampire, and I like Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the wife trying to understand her husband’s secret.

abraham lincoln vampire hunter benjamin walker train fight

I’m emancipating your head from your body, vampire scum!!!

The movie was released in 3D so you have a lot of things coming at the screen if you aren’t watching it in 3D.  The effects might be impressive in this sense and the vampire look decent, but I have never been a big fan of the 3D effect which generally adds little to the picture.

Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter was better upon second viewing, but it still feels undercooked.  I know the point of mash-ups is to create a pseudo-world that captures the essence of both the original story and the genre it is being combined with, but often there is a hint of sarcasm, irony, or wink and nod that gives the impression that the viewers are in on the joke.  The movie doesn’t play up this aspect enough and goes for a straight-up horror-action movie which in some ways boosts the high concept of the piece but in other ways negates the mash-up.  Either way, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter comes out as “that was just ok”…when it could have been better.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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