Seize the Night

As in a short story, in a short film like Seize the Night you have to start as close to the end as you possibly can. In this case they may have started a bit too close to the end, though since they only have 13 minutes to set up an entire world of urban fantasy, full of vampires and werewolves, there’s only so much explaining you can do. It felt like jumping into the middle of a TV series and I was scrambling to catch up with all the relationships and nuances.


As in a short story, in a short film like Seize the Night you have to start as close to the end as you possibly can. In this case they may have started a bit too close to the end, though since they only have 13 minutes to set up an entire world of urban fantasy, full of vampires and werewolves, there’s only so much explaining you can do. It felt like jumping into the middle of a TV series and I was scrambling to catch up with all the relationships and nuances.

Emma Dark (who also wrote and directed) plays Eva Harker, a vampire assassin who may or may not be related to Mina Harker. After having been held captive for some time by humans — quite a feat, that — she’s no longer really looking for assassination jobs. Now she just likes killing and does so as much as possible. Yes, there are plenty of dramatic fight scenes. They had Roy Scammell as the fight coordinator and he’s been in the business since the late 1960’s, so he knows what he’s doing.

But as much as Eva tries to stay out of supernatural politics — and if they’re anything like human politics I can’t blame her — there’s something sinister brewing that’s likely to pull her in despite her best intentions. She might even have to work with the dogs, or rather the werewolves, just to avoid having to deal with an even worse foe. Worse, there are innocent victims involved. Eva might be a vampire, but she isn’t completely inhumane. Or at least I don’t think she is.

The look and feel of the film is wonderful, dark and sinister, almost black and white for many of the scenes. It’s as smooth and slick as any big-budget production, and it’s fantastic to see a female character kicking butt and taking names. There isn’t nearly enough of that in movies these days. And it’s a tantalizing look at a world that isn’t quite ours, with so many hints of things waiting around the corner. It’s a short that’s just begging to become a feature-length movie or perhaps a series of shorts, and with any luck that will happen soon.