REVIEW: Boy #5 (2021)

dir. Eric Ian Steele.

Marjorie (Laura Montgomery Bennett) is a worn out youth social worker grieving the loss of a previous client and suffering from some form of PTSD after being the one who discovered his body. When she’s allocated as the case worker for Nathan (Lennon Leckey) – a boy found wandering the streets, eating a dog – Majorie discovers through a number of sessions that Nathan isn’t like the other teens in the care home: in fact, he’s barely a teenager at all.

The vampire sub-genre sometimes can suffer from formulaic stereotypes, which usually involves a tragic romance, a sensual or semi-erotic bloodsucker and a wistful human love interest who longs to become immortal. As such it’s always refreshing to see a vampire film that contains none of these conventions, with Steele’s directorial debut displaying a quasi-realistic take on what would happen if vampires were discovered amongst us.

Unfortunately the film suffers from its budgetary limitations, the storyline and background information under-developed and the character depth never fully plumbed. Marjorie forms an almost maternal instinct with Nathan and whilst – due to her past – this is understandable, it would have been more compelling to explore this fledgling connection between the two characters more fully.

Despite this, Boy #5 offers an interesting delve into the one characteristic that almost all vampire lore and its depiction carries: the universal feeling of loneliness, whether the sufferer is immortal or human. 


Ygraine Hackett-Cantabrana

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