Vampires vs. the Bronx Parent Guide
All the fun of a vampire tale without all the gore.
Parent Movie Review
Miguel Martinez (Jaden Michael) and his friends Bobby (Gerald W. Jones III) and Luis (Gregory Diaz IV) are struggling to prevent the gentrification they see in their part of the Bronx. Although they’ve set up a block party to raise money to save Tony’s (The Kid Mero) bodega, Murnau Developments seems determined to buy up the rest of the neighborhood from under their feet. Things go from bad to worse when Miguel sees a mysterious man dressed in black (who he later tracks back to Murnau) bite and devour a local gangster. Now, more than the real estate in their neighborhood is at stake – their lives hang in the balance.
My first thought watching this movie was that the vampires had made an incredibly poor decision by targeting a largely Puerto Rican/Haitian neighborhood. This is a group of people who are historically devout Catholics, have cultural stories about the occult, and cook with garlic. It’s not going to take anyone in this neighborhood any amount of time to find holy water or a crucifix. The advantage to the vampires’ poor planning is that the film gets to highlight a socially rich, vibrant community, and that community is one of the most endearing parts of the film.
This is definitely a flick designed for younger teens – profanity aside, this falls comfortably into the content most people would be comfortable showing a junior high school student. It’s not overly scary either, meaning that almost anyone in that demographic should be able to get through the film without too many nightmares. Older teens might find it a little tame, and they’d be right, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It means the movie has the room to explore its other themes and messages, rather than dumping gallons of fake blood all over the place.
Vampires vs. the Bronx isn’t some life-changing, genre-defining, icon of 21st-century filmmaking, and it doesn’t need to be. It’s a fun, wholesome “horror” story for kids that dwells on the importance of friendship, family, and community while throwing in a socio-economic message about the dangers of gentrification. Although you may not want some of the more rambunctious kids watching something that borderline justifies breaking and entering based on a hunch about the undead – some kids just don’t need that extra encouragement – this is broadly suitable for a family audience, and would make for a fun family movie night in the spookiest month of the year.Directed by Osmany Rodriguez. Starring Jaden Michael, Gregory Diaz IV, and Sarah Gadon. Running time: 85 minutes. Theatrical release October 2, 2020. Updated October 2, 2020
Watch the trailer for Vampires vs. the Bronx
Vampires vs. the Bronx
Rating & Content Info
Why is Vampires vs. the Bronx rated PG-13? Vampires vs. the Bronx is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence, language and some suggestive references.
Violence: Several people are bitten and killed by vampires. Kids watch part of Blade, which includes some over-the-top dismemberment of the undead. A number of vampires are killed with stakes through their hearts, causing them to disintegrate.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are three uses of extreme profanity (two muffled) and thirteen uses of scatological cursing. There are occasional mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A number of adults are shown with bottles of alcohol.
Page last updated October 2, 2020
Vampires vs. the Bronx Parents' Guide
What is gentrification? Why do some people think it’s a good thing? Why do some people condemn it? What do you think?
National Geographic: Gentrification
The Washington Post: Yes, you can gentrify a neighborhood without pushing out poor people
The New York Times: The Pros and Cons of Gentrification
Vittana: 21 Gentrification Pros and Cons
Related home video titles:
If this seems like a little much for your family, try The House with a Clock in its Walls. Vampires vs. the Bronx borrows a lot of plot elements from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Teens looking for scarier Halloween fare might enjoy Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Adult audiences with a hankering for nostalgia and children facing monsters might want to try Itand It: Chapter Two.