The night streets of LA are brought to life in vibrant neon in Adam Randall’s Night Teeth. The cinematography is slick and stylish, lending an enjoyably pulpy aesthetic to this vampire odyssey that’s like watching a graphic novel in motion. However, as the night wears on, the Netflix flick demonstrates that it has a lot less bite than it thinks it does. A largely predictable plot, forgettable antagonist and shallow world-building make for an unsatisfying meal.
The plot centres around college student Benny (Jorge Lendeborg Jr). He’s a socially awkward and kindhearted kid, who lives with his grandmother and dreams of becoming a musician. He persuades his brother (Raúl Castillo) to let him moonlight as a chauffeur for his driving company, which leads to him escorting two mysterious women (Debby Ryan and Lucy Fry) to a selection of exclusive parties across the city. But when he discovers their sanguisuge secret, he finds himself in the middle of a heated war between humans and vampires.
The visuals are Night Teeth’s strongest asset. Cinematographer Eben Bolter makes every frame pop with his bold use of lighting and colour to create an appetising world for the night-time action. A spattering of mouth-watering sequences epitomises his cool style and adds to the film’s overall aesthetic. Unfortunately, though, the script underneath the glossy presentation is less than appealing.
The plot is as generic and by-the-numbers as it could get. With nothing in the way of twists or surprises to liven things up a bit, viewers will know exactly where the story is heading as soon as they get a whiff of the conventional plot beats used to craft the narrative. Likewise, an unnecessary romance subplot and a bland villain (played just as lifelessly by Alfie Allen) do little to add to the urgency of the situation at hand.
Perhaps most disappointing is the missed opportunity to dive into the enticing vampiric underbelly created here. A lot of effort is put into explaining the mob-like rule vampire factions have over the city, but, aside from one character, who appears briefly towards the end, very little is known about any of these factions or the characters who run them. Consequently, once viewers do get to sink their teeth into this film, they’ll find that there’s simply not a lot there.
Night Teeth is released on Netflix on 20th October 2021.
Watch the trailer for Night Teeth here: