Starring Rory J. Saper, David James Elliott, and Kim Coates. Rating not available.
Although anyone who witnessed all five movies will never be “normal” again, we apparently survived the Twilight series. Now a vampire boy, of sorts, is here in Rufus, and it’s an inestimable relief that he’s actually a good hang. Plus, his skin doesn’t sparkle in that bizarro-boring way and he never stands around blankly moping to Blandopop. Yep, it’s sad and weird, but these are the vampire-movie criteria Twilight has wrought.
Rufus is writer-director Dave Schultz’s third quirky coming-of-age film (after Jet Boy and 45 R.P.M.), so maybe he has teen-angst issues that can only be resolved via a lonely boy with fangs and claws. Luckily, in a casting coup, the lonely boy in a frozen Canadian Prairie town is portrayed by pretty Brit Rory J. Saper, a movie newbie who could certainly have a career playing charismatic, empathetic teens who bite.
Rufus appears in Conrad when his elderly companion (Christina Jastrzembska) messily steps in front of a moving semi. Sheriff Hugh (David James Elliott) and his wife, Jennifer (Kelly Rowan), take in the mystery boy while Hugh investigates. Teen slut Tracy (Merritt Patterson) and jock-bully Clay (Richard Harmon) both find Rufus interesting, and a creepy man (Kim Coates) named Aaron Van Dusen is hunting him. There is blood.
Swedish flick Let the Right One In did the outsider-vampire-child thing with more weird, dark poetry, because the Swedes are as twisted as IKEA instructions. And Rufus telegraphs themes as if the characters have forehead tattoos reading: “whore who wants love”, “sexually confused jock”, and “we’re all misfits, really.”
But a little kooky horror on the Prairies is a heartwarming thing. And here’s a great line to throw out in an argument: “You bit him and sucked his blood and puked it up in my tub.”