Arts

Atlanta Filmmaker Tells A Vampire Story Without The Vampires

Bret Wood's 2014 film "The Unwanted" stars Hannah Fierman, Christen Orr and William Katt.
CREDIT COURTESY OF ILLUSTRATED FILMS/MARK KENNY/KELLY BLACKMON.
Bret Wood's 2014 film "The Unwanted" stars Hannah Fierman, Christen Orr and William Katt. CREDIT COURTESY OF ILLUSTRATED FILMS/MARK KENNY/KELLY BLACKMON.
Credit Courtesy of Illustrated Films/Mark Kenny/Kelly Blackmon.

 

While zombies might be surpassing them as the most popular supernatural beings, vampires are still quite trendy.

In 2008, HBO debuted the spicy, Southern vampire show “True Blood,” closely followed by the teen-geared show “The Vampire Diaries.” In 2013, Jim Jarmusch released his independent vampire film “Only Lovers Left Alive.” Then, vampire maven Anne Rice, who wrote about vampires before they were cool, released her 11th book in “The Vampire Chronicles” last year. All of this happened alongside the overwhelming “Twilight” franchise taking international audiences by storm.

The blood-suckers have also made their way to Atlanta. Local filmmaker Bret Wood made his own vampire movie.

“The Unwanted” is based on Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella “Carmilla,”a Victorian Gothic story about a young girl who falls prey to a female vampire named Carmilla.

Wood’s story is based in modern day and set in a small town. “We jokingly refer to it a Southern Gothic-Lesbian-Vampire movie,” Wood said.

Carmilla is looking for her mother. While in the town, she forms a romantic relationship with Laura, whose overprotective father, Tony, abhors the relationship. Because Laura cuts herself and because of the family’s cyclical past, Tony is convinced that Carmilla is a vampire.

But in the world of “The Unwanted,” vampires do not exist.

“I’m fascinated by the Salem Witch trials and how people were executed for being witches.” Wood said. “But witches don’t exist to the degree that they are riding on brooms … That stuff couldn’t of happened and yet people were executed for those crimes. And so I carried that into the vampire world.”

“The Unwanted” is available on DVD July 14.

24 FPS (Frames Per Second)” is a weekly segment on “City Lights with Lois Reitzes,” where we hear from local, independent filmmakers.

In these segments, they tell us about being a filmmaker in Atlanta, their projects and the how-tos of film production.