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Written by Paula C. Brancato | Review by Antonio Rozich 

[dropcap]Bloodline[/dropcap] (aka Fenton Moon) by Paula C. Brancato is a story about a young vampire Fenton Moon and her retribution.  Now, you’re probably thinking what most of us would think: another teenage vampire story where everyone is suffering from Weltschmerz and are hanging out in the darkness not to hide from the sun, but simply because they are sad and misunderstood. Bram Stoker’s Dracula eat your heart out.

But strangely, although Bloodline is one of these stories, it has something; something that separates it from the rest and that gives hope for vampire fiction.

When it comes to the technical side of Bloodline, it’s well written. The flow is coherent and there are no parts in the story where you stop and wonder why did the guy jump out of the window just now? Is it because the pizza he ordered was cold? Bloodline follows a well-planned path from the start to the finish with small Chekhov’s guns used every now and then. Because, you know, if you mention a gun in your story, it needs to be used.

Now, although I consider myself “a mature reader” (whatever that means), I’m guilty of the pleasure of enjoying a couple of teenage vampire shows/movies in my time – from Buffy to going to the cinema to watch Twilight because of my little cousin.  Which, as I later found out; is a good thing because it’s wrong to judge or criticize anything without experiencing first – we learn while we’re young I suppose.

Teenage vampire stories are and always will be stories inspired by a concept that’s been set in the stone for a very long time now. You can write a million stories like this and the concept will always be the same: you have the (teenage) protagonist who’s insecure, but holds the power to change everything. You have the antagonist who has a shady past with the protagonist, and finally you have that one character that gets sucked into the story by accident. The only thing that basically differs is the clothes they wear and the names they have.

But, and this is a big but, just because a story doesn’t have the “writing value” it doesn’t mean the story or the writer don’t have a potential. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, even if you tied it to an airplane leaving the “truth valley”. The story of Bloodline has a potential for a great and entertaining short film that would certainly be enjoyed by many if it finds its audience. Why?

Because it’s been proven through time how these concepts work and in it lays the true beauty of stories like this. We as people love a nice drama that isn’t complex, but goes directly to the point. And let’s not forget; this is one of the reasons why teenage vampire stories have gotten this bad reputation they have. Because these stories round up the concept perfectly. It simply works in this day and age, so how can anyone say it’s bad? You simply can’t!

This actually brings us to another interesting point we should analyze. Is this train slowly leaving? Is the audience that’s been enjoying this kind of movies slowly getting fed up with it? Maybe they are, but just Maybe.

The only ways to find out the mood of the audience is by making more movies and see how the audience responds. In its own genre, Bloodline is a perfectly written story and it serves the purpose it was intended to serve. It doesn’t pretend to be something that it isn’t. It’s a story about a teenage vampire and her questioning who she is and what she’s supposed to do. Why should she despise human beings? Why should she follow the stuck up rules given by the vampire community? Why can’t she be different?

Finally, why shouldn’t this story be another successful movie? If the potential is there, everything else will follow.


While he isn’t writing for Cult Critic, Antonio Rozich is working as a copywriter for a filmmaking startup called Try Cinema. Besides his usual copywriting, he also helps filmmakers with their screenplays by editing them and finding the ways to improve the initial filmmaker’s idea. When all of that is done, he turns to his true & original love: writing flash fiction, which he posts regularly on his site Syeta Stories.



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