Drink Me, written and directed by Daniel Mansfield, is a vampire thriller about a gay couple that open their home to a lodger only to discover he has a dark secret
James (Emmett Friel) and Andy (Darren Munn) seem like the perfect couple with everything going for them, that is until Andy loses his job and in order to make ends meet they invite Sebastian (Chris Ellis-Stanton) into their home. It’s clear from the beginning Sebastian will be an issue, he’s tall, muscular and very attractive but also noticeably creepy. With Andy now spending his days at home, he begins to realise Sebastian is hiding a secret, but James doesn’t seem to notice. In fact, James seems quite transfixed by Sebastian. Andy’s begins to have nightmares that come to life and reveal snippets of the final moments.
Drink Me is an attempt at artfully mixing the vampire craze with gay themes that falls short of creating the thrill that was intended. While Friel and Munn sell the passionate, loving and beautiful couple, they fail to really express how scary Sebastian is supposed to be. It’s not even the moments where Andy stares off into the abyss while Sebastian hovers in the background, or when Andy wonders down the hall naked to check Sebastian out in the shower, who proceeds to explain the gruesome tail of Peeping Tom getting his eyes gouged out. It’s the nightmares, or reality as it turns out, which destroy the dark and potentially scary nature of the film. At one point, as Sebastian eats James’ heart and Andy tries to look terrified as he slowly jogs away through the forest. At least I think it’s his heart, it’s a pink, squishy object covered in terrible fake blood.
There is one scene where Andy hears his music box playing upstairs and goes to investigate where you can hear every rustle of his dressing gown, every creak of the floor board and every sticky, sweaty step he takes across the tiles makes a squelching sound. The music box is yet another confusing element of the story. Andy finds it on his way home from work before he is fired and feels the need to hide it in an unused fireplace. It seems to haunt him just as much as Sebastian.
Mansfield’s attempts to set the scene seem to hold no real meaning for the film. There is a strange montage of a set of stairs leading up to a skylight, which could mean multiple things, but in this case, just leave you confused. Or the shaky shot of the sun rising over the couple’s house. Some shots have strange angles and seem to be an attempt at adding an artistic element, but don’t really achieve anything.
Despite flaws, Drink Me is an entertaining film with a lot of potential that explores what could go wrong in your relationship if a vampire moves in. And, as the ending at least tries to portray, true love conquers all demons.