Abraham Lincoln: The Vampire Hunter is a 2012 fantastic horror movie that provides an unconventional interpretation of the political and social life of the 16th President of the United States. The plot focuses on the sinister plan of the vampire world to take of the control over the Untied States and, therefore, Lincoln decides to liberate Americans from the vampire’s dominance and eliminate their influence.
Beyond the complex relationships between the world of humans and underground world of vampires, the movie still leaves the historical background of early nineteenth century. Depiction of slavery, poor living and working conditions, and negligence of human rights have been presented throughout the film as an important social and historical foundation.
There are a great number of historic events that touch on the modern understanding of American history. Through a complex narrative of the picture, as well as sophisticated elements of the plot, it is possible to discover the moral development of young hero who gradually discovers that a supernatural creature kills his mother.
As soon as he learns the truth, he starts his fight against vampire residing in the Southern part of the country and proliferating slavery and inequality among the population. According to Hogan “Slavery provides the creatures with an ample supply of blood from a captive population with no means of resistance” (Hogan 67).
The political leaders of the Southern par are frightened by the emerged threat and, some of them cede their political power for the vampire lobby. The hero realizes that his duty is to cease the political invasion and eradicate their influence on the civil population.
In the movie, the director depicts vampires as being responsible for many abhorrent and disturbing episodes from American history, including disappearance of Roanoke settlers, confrontation between Europeans and Native Americans, as well as massive outbreaks of such pandemics as typhoid fever and cholera. All these crimes against humanity are represented as signs of vampire’s activity.
Thus, the movie represents political and social constraints as the result of vampire’s dominance over humanity. In short, the movie generalizes on the confrontation between the good and the evil. The presence of supernatural creatures in political powers, introducing Confederate ranks leads to massive destructions and countless attacks at Union.
The president Lincoln acknowledges that the Rebel army composed of fearless and bloodthirsty vampires is invincible (Abraham Lincoln: The Vampire Hunter). Vampire contempt for human life makes Lincoln think over new strategies that would exterminate these species.
The president signs the Emancipation Proclamation as an act of military necessity to weaken vampire’s powers by taking Southern slaves away. Despite the fact that the tactics leads to the defeat of the Confederacy controlled by Vampires, Lincoln is not afraid of sacrificing his life for saving the others.
The movie is set at the beginning of the nineteenth century, but Lincoln reminds use of a contemporary hero fighting for the good. He struggle against the supernatural forces that pose threats to the Nation and his suppresses vampires by rescuing slaves. Such a plot is quite unusual, but certain aspects of the movie are congruent with the modern patterns of display the fight between real and surreal world (Brown 194).
The message of the movie is confined to the conspiring forces that pose threat to humanity; yet, these forces are always overcome by human intelligence and persistence.
There is close resemblance between the movie Lincoln and that described in autobiographical writings. Both figures strived to liberate humanity from inequality, slavery, and injustice and introduce a free society with equal opportunities for all people irrespective of race and ethnicity.
Therefore, the political activities and Lincoln radical reforms against slavery are closely intertwined with his attempt to eradicate vampires and free state. On the other hand, the movie does not expose anything historically important in regards to slavery or the Civil war.
In this respect, Ebert notes, “what [movie] achieves is a surprisingly good job of doing justice to its title, and treating Lincoln with as much gravity as we can expect, under the circumstances” (2).
Therefore, the criticism focuses on significant deviation from portrayal of the genuine Lincoln (Grahame-Smith 17). In fact, an alternative performance has right to existence because history itself could be presented as a subjective retelling of various historians.
Unconventional drama combines vampire fiction and historical background and depicts segregation imagery through the scenes of racial discrimination. African Americans are represented as a source of power and energy for vampires who strive to conquer the American nation.
In this respect, the historic account on the fate of black immigrants is allegorically conveyed through the fight between Lincoln and the evil creatures. Nevertheless, the hero discovers the weapon against these creatures and liberates enslaved people by exterminating all the vampires. The undead Confederate is also metaphorically reflected through the vampire dominance.
Indeed, the film imagery allows the viewers to see another Lincoln, a fearless fighter against the supernatural. Most of his character traits could be associated with the historical portrait of Lincoln in terms of his persistence, power of speech, and rigid fight for freedom and liberation.
The description of Lincoln of Anti-Slaver Fighter stands at the core of the movie, which contributes to the good vs. evil scenario. Slavery as a phenomenon is of evil nature as well because it contradicts of the original truth of the human being free from their birth. Morality of the film is also transparent because there are no transitional characters, except for the vampire Henry Sturgess who helps Lincoln to become an experienced hunter.
In the pursuit of eternal power, vampire strives to conquer African Americans and suppress them, being a powerful source of control over the Union. Certainly, the plot does not relate explicitly to the Confederate opposition, but the hero focuses on this political force as the root of the evil.
In conclusion, the movie represents a sophisticated interaction of conflicts, fights, and encounters in the fights for freedom and justice. The main hero, Abraham Lincoln is considered a fearless and experienced hunter who strives to exterminate all the vampires, the source of the evil. At this point, vampires personify the Southern political parties who expected to enslave the African Americans, an unlimited source of labor force.
They do not consider it important to adhere to the principle of freedom and equality for all humans. Therefore, although the movie does not premise on historical events, it still renders a metaphorical description of vampires as a politically corrupted force. Finally, representing the 16th president of the United States as a modern hero can attract viewers and those who are fond of American history.
Abraham Lincoln: The Vampire Hunter. Ex. Prod. Timur Beckmambetov. USA: Caleb Deschanel. 2012. DVD.
Brown, Thomas. Remixing the Civil War: Meditations on Sesquicentennial. US: JHU Press, 2010. Print.
Ebert, Roger. Roger Ebert’s Movie Yearbook 2013: 25th Anniversary Edition. US: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012. Print.
Grahame-Smith, Seth. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. US: Grand Central Publishing. 2012. Print.
Hogan, Jackie. Lincoln Inc.: Selling the Sixteenth President in Contemporary America. US: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. Print.