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Perhaps surprisingly, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is not just a showcase for director Timur Bekmambetov's relentless and varied barrage of combat-related special effects. (This is one of those films where 3-D really makes a difference, perhaps especially in its treatment of vampire eyes. We're a long way from Twilight's red contacts.)

Perhaps even more surprisingly, it's also not a campy gorefest looking for some historical cachet to give it airs. The actors give it something close to their all, and Seth Grahame-Smith's screenplay is deadly serious about making the battle against vampires an integral part of Lincoln's (and even America's) ascendance.

Naturally, history suffers in the process, as do vampire lore and the laws of physics. Still, there's something high and solemn about the rampant absurdity, and I found myself thinking that this is the sort of film the old Hammer Films people might have made if they had CGI and Wikipedia.

Reader rating: one star.

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