In 2014 a small Canadian production company teamed up with the Kotex brand to produce a little web series that would soon grow an international fan base and eventually into a feature film.
The “Carmilla” web series is based off a novella by Sheridan Le Fanu written in 1872. This novella, which predates Dracula, follows the tale of a lesbian vampire named Carmilla.
While the initial tale was meant to be an indictment against homosexuality, the web series took this concept in the opposite direction and Carmilla soon became an international hit among LGBT audiences.
The series embraces queer and non-binary characters and includes an LGBT cast and LGBT writers. After the initial web series became an international hit that garnered millions of online views, the lead actress, Natasha Negovanlis (Carmilla), clinched a Canadian Screen Award for her work on the show.
In the wake of this success and after three seasons on YouTube, the producers started a crowd funding campaign in conjunction with funding from Shaftesbury to produce a feature film.
The funding for the movie largely depended on pre-sales, and production officially began this summer. The movie, which was highly anticipated among LGBT teens, was released last week.
The story, unfortunately, falls flat when compared to previous seasons of the show. The switch from a stationary camera in the YouTube series to multiple camera angles was a nice change, but the editing and pacing in the show was lacking. With a plot that was difficult to follow, the impact of the climax was lost amidst confusing backstories and plot twists.
However, the acting, set design and nerdy references evoked the fun-loving and campy vibe of another LGBT favorite – Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Also, the addition of new characters and a villainous performance from Dominique Provost-Chalkley (star of hit Syfy show “Wynonna Earp”) added greatly to the movie’s appeal.
Ultimately, while the movie didn’t quite pack the punch fans were hoping for, the film represents a positive step for those seeking greater LGBT representation in media and does a great job of portraying a healthy lesbian relationship that young, queer teens can easily relate to.