Blood & Chocolate (film)
|Blood & Chocolate|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Katja von Garnier|
|Based on||Blood and Chocolate|
by Annette Curtis Klause
|Box office||$6.3 million|
Blood & Chocolate is a 2007 fantasy-horror film directed by Katja von Garnier. It was written by Ehren Kruger and Christopher B. Landon and is loosely based on Annette Curtis Klause's 1997 young adult novel of the same name.
Vivian (Agnes Bruckner) is a 19-year-old werewolf born in Bucharest, Romania to Romanian parents, who later emigrated to America. When Vivian was nine years old, her parents and two siblings are murdered by two hunters who then burn down their family house.
Orphaned, Vivian moves back to Bucharest to live with her aunt, Astrid (Katja Riemann). Astrid is the former mate of the werewolf pack's leader, Gabriel (Olivier Martinez). To Astrid's distress, Gabriel leaves her after seven years to choose a new mate, in accordance with pack law. A few months later, Gabriel reveals that he wants the reluctant Vivian as his mate.
Vivian, however, begins a romance with graphic novelist Aiden (Hugh Dancy), who is researching for his latest book. Although he is human, Aiden knows much about Vivian's kind, the Loups-Garoux (werewolves).
Their romance is closely monitored by Vivian's cousin Rafe (Bryan Dick) and his friends Ulf (Chris Geere), Gregor (Tom Harper), Finn (John Kerr), and Willem (Jack Wilson), together known as "The Five." Rafe sees a drawing that Aiden has made of Vivian, in which she is referred to as "The Wolf Girl." Believing that she is telling Aiden all of their pack's secrets and that she may become a danger to the pack, Rafe tells Gabriel about Aiden. Gabriel then tells Rafe that Aiden must leave or he will be dealt with by the pack.
Rafe lures Aiden to an abandoned church with the ruse that Vivian wants to reconnect and attempts to scare him away. When this doesn't work, Rafe attacks Aiden, but Aiden defends himself and forces Rafe to back onto a table where he cuts himself. Aiden, who did not previously know Vivian and her friends were werewolves, sees the golden glow of the Loup-Garou and realizes that Vivian is one of them. The two fight, with Aiden attacking Rafe with a silver pendant. Rafe then turns into a wolf. Aiden eventually gains the upper hand, killing Rafe.
Afterwards, Aiden confronts Vivian about her true identity and tempts her with his blood. She does not give in but is hurt that Aiden would think that she is the monster.
Not long after, Aiden is captured by the pack to answer for the murder of Rafe, who is revealed to be Gabriel's son. Aiden is made to run through the forest while being chased by the pack. If the pack catches him, he dies. If he makes it to the river and crosses it, he lives. Vivian becomes scared for him and changes into her wolf form, a white wolf, to save him from the pack.
Aiden makes it to the river by confusing the pack, using his blood to spread his scent and making it harder for them to track him. Gabriel, angry that Aiden has escaped, attempts to follow him to kill him anyway. Vivian helps to protect Aiden by throwing Gabriel off his scent. Not recognizing Vivian in wolf form, Aiden strikes her with a silver knife. Vivian starts to bleed, quickly requiring an antidote to silver poisoning or else she will die.
After hiding from the pack, Aiden and Vivian find a pharmacist who has the antidote for silver poisoning and steals it from him, but not before the pharmacist calls the rest of the pack. After being chased, Vivian tells Aiden to save himself and then is captured by the pack herself. She is held in a cage and taunted by the rest of The Five while Gabriel attempts to manipulate her to his way of thinking. Aiden comes to Vivian's rescue and, in the end, Vivian kills Gabriel.
Aiden and Vivian drive away, passing other Loups-Garoux, who bare their necks in respect, hinting that Vivian might be the new leader of the pack.
- Agnes Bruckner as Vivian Gandillon
- Hugh Dancy as Aiden
- Olivier Martinez as Gabriel
- Katja Riemann as Astrid
- Bryan Dick as Rafe
- Chris Geere as Ulf
- Tom Harper as Gregor
- John Kerr as Finn
- Jack Wilson as Willem
- Vitalie Ursu as Constani
- Bogdan Voda as Albu
- Kata Dobó as Beatrice
- Maria Dinulescu as Girl in Red
- Mihai Gruia Sandu as Pharmacist
Beginning in 1997, a series of five directors entered into talks to direct Blood & Chocolate before Katja von Garnier finally decided to work on the film in January 2005. Larry Williams and his wife, Leslie Libman, Po-Chih Leong, Sanji Senaka, and Rupert Wainwright were all considered. Throughout these talks, Blood and Chocolate author, Annette Curtis Klause, was not kept up-to-date by the film's producers. Rather, she obtained information about film's progression from online sources.
Principal photography was set in the historic section of Bucharest and at MediaPro Studios in Buftea. However, the film failed to accurately represent the city of Bucharest. For example, the film's Piata Romana (Romana Square) is actually the Curtea Veche yard (Old Court), and the film's Biserica Silvestru (Silvestru Church, located in downtown Bucharest) is actually a church in Stirbey Palace, Buftea, which is located tens of kilometers west of Bucharest.
- Songs featured in the film
- "Garab" - Rachid Taha
- "Let Yourself Go Wild" - Jasmin Tabatabai
- "Velvet Hills" - Katja Riemann
- "You Know the Truth" - Aurah
- "Cash Machine" - Hard-Fi
- "Amor Fati" - Aurah
- "Silence Summons You" - The Sofa Club
- "Eu Te Iubesc Prea Mult" - Nicolae Guta
- "Stand My Ground" - Within Temptation
Variation from novel
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The title of the film is derived from the conclusion of the novel:
He was raw and sharp and rich and throbbing with life. He was sweet blood after a long hunt. How could she have mistaken Aiden's kisses for this? They had been delicious and smooth like the brief comfort of chocolate, but they had never been enough.
In the film, Vivian and Aiden are portrayed older than their characters in the novel, and meet under different circumstances. In the novel, they both attend the same high school, and Vivian seeks Aiden out after reading a poem he wrote about werewolves.
In the film, Gabriel is portrayed as an aggressive antagonist, ruling by force and fear. In the novel, he is a new addition to the pack, and wins his mantle of leadership in the Ordeal according to the Old Way.
Additionally, the relationship between Gabriel and Vivian in the novel is vastly different from how it is depicted in the film, and the nature of the Loups-Garoux is more bloodthirsty and vengeful towards humans in the film.
Several other details are distinctly different in the film adaptation. Vivian's background story is changed, as well as the fate of her family.
Blood & Chocolate opened on January 26, 2007 in 1,200 theaters. The film earned $2,074,300 during its opening weekend, ranking sixteenth at the domestic box office. By the end of its run, a little over two months later, the film had grossed $3,526,847 domestically and $2,784,270 overseas for a worldwide total of $6,311,117.
Blood & Chocolate was panned by critics. On review-aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an 11% rating based on 63 reviews. On Metacritic, it has a 33 out of 100 rating from 16 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews."
The New York Times critic Jeannette Catsoulis gave a negative review, saying the film is "uninvolving and cliché-ridden (even shape-shifters, it seems, deserve a falling-in-love montage), Blood & Chocolate is Romeo and Juliet with fewer manners and more exotic dentition. Cribbing shamelessly from Joel Schumacher's 1987 vampire classic, The Lost Boys, the director, Katja von Garnier, perches her pack on roofs and in rafters — an aerial lifestyle that works for bats but seems a bit of a stretch for wolves."the original.
- "BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. January 30, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
- "Blood and Chocolate (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. March 30, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
- "Interview with author Annette Curtis Klause".
- "Blood and Chocolate at director's site (de icon)".
- Klause, Annette Curtis (1997). Blood and chocolate. New York: Delacorte Press. ISBN 0385734212.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for January 26-28, 2007". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. January 29, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
- "Blood & Chocolate". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- "Blood and Chocolate". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
- Catsoulis, Jeannette. "Yes, She Has a Sweet Tooth, but She's a Major Carnivore". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved June 13, 2018.