Night Teeth lacks bite
Director Adam Randall and writer Brent Dillon put a different spin on the vampire genre in Netflix’s Night Teeth. Quirky college student Benny (Jorge Lendeborg, Jr.) moonlights as a chauffeur for one night to earn some extra cash. His task: drive two mysterious young women Blaire (Debby Ryan) and Zoe (Lucy Fry), around Los Angeles for a night of party hopping. He is taken captive by his clients' charm, and he soon learns that his passengers have their own plans for him -- and an insatiable thirst for blood.
As his night spins out of control, Benny is thrust into the middle of a clandestine war that pits rival tribes of vampires against the protectors of the human world, led by his brother Jay (Raúl Castillo), who will stop at nothing to send them back into the shadows. With the sunrise fast approaching, Benny is forced to choose between fear and temptation if he wants to stay alive and save the City of Angels.
Vampires have always been of interest to me, so I was open to giving the film a look even without the cast of rising talent. I've liked Jorge Lendeborg Jr's acting style since 2018's Love Simon, and it was great to see him in the lead role. The actor brings his usual charisma to the role of a young man just trying to find his way in the world and has decent chemistry with both of his female co-stars. Meanwhile, fresh off appearances in Wrath of Man and Army of the Dead, Raul Castillo continues his trend of alpha male supporting roles and does what he can with the script.
This film is primarily about the women with Blaire (Debby Ryan) and Zoe (Lucy Fry) having the most fun. The actress’ play well off each other, and Fry even gets a chance to tap into her antagonist side. Sadly though, this is where the positives end for the film. Alfie Allen provides one of the worst performances of the year as our lead vampire, Victor. There's never a moment where he comes off menacing. The smart move would've been to swap his role with that of the more reliable Alexander Ludwig, who is better at playing bad guys, but here, is reduced to a cameo.
In addition, while the basic vampire lore is intact, the script never really fleshes out the backstory between the war of vampires and humans. I feel that first-time writer grew up on young adult vampire stories and was conflicted on where to take his story. Finally, Adam Randall's direction comes off as a paycheck only and not a passion project.
The potential for Night Teeth to be a combination of the forgotten vampire flick Graveyard Shift and Michael Mann's 2004 classic Collateral was there. However, instead, we get a mix of ideas that fail to go anywhere.
Final Grade: C-
Night Teeth is streaming on NETFLIX now.