Performers: Ian Somerhalder, Adrian Holmes, Jacky Lai, and Kyle Brietkopf
V-Wars is a Netflix original series that debuted December 5th of this year. It has 9 episodes total and follows a the challenged faced by two friends, Dr. Luther Swann (Ian Somerhalder) and Michael Fayne (Adrian Holmes) as they face the challenges of modern society’s panic in the face of vampirism. We can all agree that vampires are a bit tired, but V-Wars brings the sensibilities of The Walking Dead to the idea of vampirism spreading across the globe follow as a communicable disease. If you enjoy tense drama with a vampiric flair, this is a good choice for holiday binging. However, it’s not as a high on the horror scale as The Walking Dead. While both have the underlying message that humans are the true monsters, V-Wars feels tamer by comparison owing to the weak vampire CGI effects.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
V-Wars opens with Dr. Swann at a climate summit presenting his research on the link between dwindling ice caps and the potentially deadly organisms dormant for millennia. Immediately after, he’s summoned to his research base in the Arctic: apparently, the scientists stationed there have been incommunicado for too long. Just before they went radio silent, they reported that they’d found something extraordinary.
What follows is the divergence of two friends down wildly different paths, one struggling to make sense of an adapt to his vampirism while the other is harassed by the US government for a cure. Both are hunted at every turn.
Understandably concerned, Swann calls on his brother in all but blood Fayne, and the pair make for the base. Unfortunately, the discovery was a biomass, and the scientists are nowhere to be found. This leaves Swann and Fayne exposed to the contaminant. The pair are tested in quarantine then, miraculously, released. However, all isn’t well. Apparently, Fayne has a genetic component that makes him susceptible to the vampirism, arising in this universe as an organism likened to Mad Cow Disease that targets the host and alters their physiology. Dr Swann doesn’t have this gene, making him immune. There are plenty of great choices, such as the addictive component in the vampire bite, the government agencies battling out which will handle the situation most effectively, and the rise of a vampiric system of law and self-governance. The acting is fantastic, and it’s refreshing to see vampires taken seriously again in the wake of Twilight. If V-Wars makes vampires in vogue again, it’s worth overlooking a few weak points.