While it’s hard not to snicker at a title like “Night Teeth”, it’s even harder to get in sync with this light and often lethargic attempt at a hip stylish vampire flick. Directed by Adam Randall, this drab and lifeless clone of countless other bloodsucker movies has clear ambitions and its cast is able to squeeze out a few fun moments. But it’s hard to watch “Night Teeth” and not think of the much better movies it borrows from.
“Night Teeth” is what you get if you throw “Underworld”, “John Wick”, “Twilight”, and “Collateral” into one big cinematic blender. It’s a movie that gets so caught up in its desire to be cool that it forgets the need for good characters and a good story. From the blaring techno hip-hop needle-drops to the gratuitous slow motion, the movie tries everything in the book but to no avail. And while the story takes place over one brisk night in Los Angeles, it feels a lot longer.
A likable Jorge Lendeborg Jr. plays Benny, a normal highschooler who loves his skateboard and making music. His tough guy half-brother Jay (Raúl Castillo) is a chauffeur/Uber driver, but has some secret business on the side. One evening Jay has some rather urgent business to attend to and makes the ill-advised decision to let Benny take his chauffeur duties for the night. Jay’s only requirement is that Benny pose as him for the night. Just pick up the clients and take them where they want to go. Easy, right? Well of course not!
So Benny hops into Jay’s tricked out Cadillac Escalade and heads out into the LA night. He’s summoned to a posh Beverly Hills neighborhood where he picks up two mysterious women, the flirty Blaire (Debby Ryan) and the irritable Zoe (Lucy Frey). Their plans are to hit several parties across town before daybreak and Benny is to drive them, no questions asked.
But wouldn’t you know it, the girls aren’t at all what they appear to be. In fact, they’re especially thirsty vampires who have business at each of the stops they make. And (of course) Benny ends up caught in the middle. Along the way we the audience are showered with uninteresting and often convoluted mythology about a vampire hierarchy, warring nocturnal bosses, broken truces, and so on. None of it will stick with you and worst of all none of it does much to enhance the story.
Other characters pop up along the way, most notably a prominent crime boss named Victor (Alfie Allen) who immediately becomes the film’s chief antagonist. Megan Fox even shows up in a glorified cameo playing one of Victor’s somethings (I still haven’t quite figured it out who or what she is). But they too get bogged down in the movie’s countless clichés and the backstory mumbo-jumbo. It’s that stuff that ultimately zaps “Night Teeth” of its fun and energy. And no amount of gratuitous slo-mo or bright neon lighting can save it. “Night Teeth” is now streaming on Netflix.