Character actors may not be household names, but they have an innate talent for embodying small roles in notable productions. This is certainly the case with Noah Segan, a frequent collaborator of director Rian Johnson. Segan has always played interesting characters, and this movie is no exception. After all, Blood Relatives is a film in which he gets to play a Jewish vampire. But Segan’s presence in front of the camera is only the beginning of what makes this movie notable. Most notably, this sees him step into the director’s chair for the first time.
The film plays out as a road movie with a vampiric twist, resulting in a heartwarming directorial debut that hits all the right notes. Many who have seen Blood Relatives compared it to the 1973 classic Paper Moon. Honestly, that comparison isn’t far off, as Segan balances the darker inclinations of being a vampire with the melancholy of reconnecting with a loved one.
For the most part, Segan succeeds at this balance due to using a “less is more” approach. The casual execution of what it means to be a vampire paints it as a minor inconvenience. The inherent humor of being a vampire dad and trying to fit into society lends Blood Relative to being a funny film.
Standing opposite Segan’s Francis is Victoria Moroles as Jane, his estranged daughter with the fangs to prove it. Blood Relatives depends entirely on these two actors having good chemistry since it is largely a two-hander. Luckily, the pair works well together, and their chemistry gives the film warmth despite the characters’ cold-blooded and violent behavior.
As charming as Segan and Moroles are as a father-daughter duo, the film still drags in several key scenes. It’s understood that any actor turned first-time director and writer would have charming moments that linger on too much. However, it’s still an issue in an otherwise endearing film.
The hints of Francis’ backstory help to make the film engaging, hinting at the vampire’s past before he became what he is. The idea of being ageless and living past everyone you love is heartbreaking, and the film captures that perfectly. Segan brings both levity and drama with the subtle performance of his character. His daughter Jane grows close to him, and watching Francis work through these new feelings of being a father is fascinating. Blood Relatives makes for one of the most unconventional and entertaining vampire movies.
Overall, the great tonal balance makes Blood Relatives an engaging and intimate directorial debut. The subdued and, at times, hilarious performance Segan delivers paired with Moroles’s charming turn as Jane makes the drawn-out sequences a little more tolerable. The film is a great first feature that excites me to see what Segan does next as he continues to hone his craft. – Ernesto Valenzuela
Blood Relatives is Pending a Wide Release Date.
Did you enjoy this article? If so, consider visiting our YouTube channel, where we discuss the latest and greatest in pop culture news.