Note: This is the overall critique. For scene by scene critique click here
|As the movie progresses, Guillermo's character arc revolves around his deepening desire to become a vampire and the ethical conflict he feels in his loyalty to his vampire masters. Initially, Guillermo is completely subservient to Nandor and dreams of becoming a vampire himself. However, as he sees the darker side of vampire life and begins to question whether he really wants to be a vampire, he starts to assert himself more. Guillermo's arc reaches a climax when he reveals to Nandor that he is actually a descendant of Van Helsing and has been responsible for secretly killing vampires. He ultimately takes a stand against his vampire masters, even as he continues to serve them.
|While Guillermo's arc is compelling, it could be more fully developed. At times, the film seems to gloss over Guillermo's internal conflict and his growing disillusionment with vampire life. In addition, his true motivations for wanting to become a vampire are not fully explored. This can make his transformation from a loyal servant to a rebel feel somewhat abrupt.
To improve Guillermo's character arc, the film could spend more time exploring his internal conflict and the reasons behind his desire to become a vampire. This could be done through flashbacks or other character development techniques. Additionally, the climax of Guillermo's arc could be more dramatic and impactful, with stronger consequences for his actions. Finally, the film could more fully explore the ethical implications of vampire life and how Guillermo grapples with these issues.
|Nandor begins the movie as a strict traditionalist who resists change and feels threatened by The Baron's potential to take over the household. As the story progresses, Nandor becomes more willing to adapt to new situations and begins to appreciate Guillermo's loyalty and practicality. He gains a newfound respect for The Baron after realizing the power he possesses, but ultimately realizes that loyalty to his own group is more important than blindly following a powerful leader. By the end of the movie, Nandor has become more open-minded and willing to embrace new ideas.
|The character arc for Nandor is well-established and shows growth throughout the movie, but it could benefit from more specific and tangible moments of change. The arc primarily relies on Nandor's shifting attitude towards The Baron, but more pivotal scenes could help solidify his growth and make it more impactful.
To improve the character arc, consider adding scenes where Nandor is forced to make tough decisions or confront his own beliefs. Perhaps he has to choose between loyalty to The Baron or loyalty to his own group, and this choice ultimately leads to his growth. Additionally, exploring Nandor's relationships with other characters could add more nuance to his development. For example, if Guillermo becomes a key ally to Nandor, this could show his willingness to break from tradition and embrace practicality.
|Lazslo starts off as carefree and slightly childish, enjoying his power as a vampire but not taking things too seriously. However, as the gravity of their situation becomes more apparent, Lazslo's flippant attitude causes him to make mistakes and put himself and his roommates in danger. Through facing the consequences of his actions, Lazslo begins to mature and develop a sense of responsibility. He realizes that he needs to take their situation seriously and work together with his roommates to survive.
|The character arc for Lazslo is well done, but could benefit from more specific incidents that show his growth. Additionally, his motivations and goals could be further explored to give him more depth.
Show Lazslo making specific mistakes that put his roommates in danger, and have him take responsibility for his actions. Explore his desires and motivations more deeply - is he content with his current lifestyle, or does he have goals that he's been avoiding confronting? Show him working with his roommates to help them survive, either through his cunning or through his love and loyalty to them.
|Power dynamics within the household
|The scene in the library reveals the power dynamic within the household, with Nadja being the mediator between Nandor and Lazlo. The impending visit from The Baron also adds to the theme of power dynamics within the group.
|The theme of power dynamics within the household is centered around the relationships and rank between Nandor, Laszlo, Nadja, and Guillermo. The characters constantly shift between who has the upper hand, and the arrival of The Baron escalates this tension.
|Prejudice and otherness
|Nadja and Lazlo encounter prejudice from college bros while hunting in the park. The encounter and the reason for them leaving Europe hint at the theme of prejudice and otherness. The scene also introduces Colin Robinson, an energy vampire, who is a clear other in the group.
|The theme of prejudice and otherness is present throughout as the vampire roommates struggle to fit into modern society. They are constantly othered by the mortals around them and face prejudices because of their vampire nature. The theme adds depth to the characters and explores the consequences of being different.
|Loyalty and dedication
|Guillermo shows his loyalty and dedication to Nandor when he helps him with his vestments and prepares the mansion for The Baron's arrival. Nandor also gives Guillermo an anniversary gift, a glitter portrait of themselves.
|The theme of loyalty and dedication is centered around the relationship between Nandor and Guillermo. The theme explores the lengths someone will go to show their loyalty to a master and the unbreakable bonds that can form through a relationship based on servitude.
|Humor and satire
|The scene with the LARP group is lighthearted and humorous, and Colin Robinson's energy-draining abilities add to the humor. Most of the scenes have a darkly humorous tone, blending satire with the horror elements.
|The theme of humor and satire is present throughout the screenplay. The screenplay blends horror with humor, especially in the scenes that involve the vampire roommates interacting with modern society. A sense of absurdity permeates the screenplay, which adds to the overall tone of the story.
|Survival and power struggle
|The discussion of The Baron's arrival and the preparation for his visit show how the vampire roommates are struggling for survival and power. The Baron's announcement that they need to use Staten Island as their base of operations adds to the theme of survival and power struggle.
|The theme of survival and power struggle is centered around the actions that the vampire roommates take to maintain their status and power in modern society. They struggle for survival and power in a world that is hostile towards them, and The Baron's announcement escalates the tension and power struggle between them.
Screenwriting Resources on Themes
|Movie Themes: Examples of Common Themes for Screenwriters
|Improving your Screenplay's theme
|Writing from Theme
|Story, Plot, Genre, Theme - Screenwriting Basics
|Screenwriting basics - beginner video
|What is theme
|Discussion on ways to layer theme into a screenplay.
|Thematic Mistakes You're Making in Your Script
|Common Theme mistakes and Philosophical Conflicts
|Goals and Philosophical Conflict
|The protagonist's internal goals evolve throughout the screenplay and include a desire for acceptance, control, and a sense of purpose.
|The overarching external goal is for the vampire roommates to plan for The Baron's visit, including transportation, the blood feast, and purchasing supplies.
|The screenplay tackles themes of tradition, prejudice, change, and identity, with the philosophical conflict revolving around the tension between the old ways and the modern world.
Character Development Contribution: The goals and conflicts contribute to the characters' development by revealing their personalities, values, and beliefs, and how they adapt to changing circumstances.
Narrative Structure Contribution: The goals and conflicts contribute to the narrative structure by creating tension and suspense, building relationships and alliances, and establishing themes.
Thematic Depth Contribution: The goals and conflicts contribute to the thematic depth by exploring themes of identity, tradition, prejudice, and change, and how the characters navigate these themes in their own ways.
Screenwriting Resources on Goals and Philosophical Conflict
|How Important Is A Character’s Goal?
|What is Conflict in a Story? A Quick Reminder of the Purpose of Conflict
|How I Build a Story's Philosophical Conflict
|How do you build philosophical conflict into your story? Where do you start? And how do you develop it into your characters and their external actions. Today I’m going to break this all down and make it fully clear in this episode.
|Endings: The Good, the Bad, and the Insanely Great
|By Michael Arndt: I put this lecture together in 2006, when I started work at Pixar on Toy Story 3. It looks at how to write an "insanely great" ending, using Star Wars, The Graduate, and Little Miss Sunshine as examples. 90 minutes
|Tips for Writing Effective Character Goals
|By Jessica Brody (Save the Cat!): Writing character goals is one of the most important jobs of any novelist. But are your character's goals...mushy?