The Little Vampire

Vampire cows provide comic relief and many of the scares in this respectfully dark yet optimistic story about a lonely child who befriends a vampire—a boy who looks to be about the same age but is actually hundreds of years older. Tony (Jonathan Lipnicki) starts having what his parents think are nightmares when his family moves from California to Scotland, where a clan of vampires seeks an amulet that hasn't been seen in 300 years, except in the visions of vampire patriarch Richard E. Grant—the father of Tony's new friend—and in Tony's dreams. After firmly establishing a no-biting rule, Tony helps the vampires in their quest and is pursued with them by an indiscriminate vampire slayer. The violence is suggested in a way that's neither overwhelming nor insulting to a child's intelligence as this crafty fairy tale ultimately finds a way for human and vampire characters to live and let live. Uli Edel directed a screenplay by Karey Kirkpatrick and Larry Wilson, based on a series of children's books by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. 94 min.

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