Liar, Liar, Vampire

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
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Silly comedy has decent messages about self-image.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The story involves two teens tricking their peers into believing there's a vampire in their midst. Their motivations are different, but both are driven by selfishness, and both come to regret it in the end. Another teen pulls a trick of her own that has more hurtful consequences, but she also learns a valuable lesson from her actions. The story encourages viewers to consider the definition of popularity and whether it's worth sacrificing your values and hurting others to achieve it. It also has fun with vampire lore and casts lighthearted mockery at popular stories such as the Twilight series. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Davis and Vi join forces to manipulate their peers for their own gain, but both realize that doing so doesn't bring them happiness and choose a better path in the end. Caitlyn's deception is more subversive and has greater consequences for her and those close to her, but even she learns a positive lesson about relating to others. 

Violence

One altercation shows martial arts-style fighting. Davis uses ketchup to simulate a vampire bite on a girl's neck. 

Sex

Davis is shirtless in one scene. 

Language

Some name-calling: "loser," "jerk," "liar." 

Consumerism

The show has obvious parallels to vampire dramas and references Twilight by name numerous times.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Liar, Liar, Vampire is a comedic TV movie that draws direct allusions to the Twilight series, so tweens who haven't seen the movie series might be curious about it after watching. For most of the story, two teens trick their classmates into believing one of them is a vampire, and for his part, the allure of popularity inspires him to keep up the con. Others are motivated by other negative impulses such as revenge and self-importance, but all parties learn that status isn't worth sacrificing your values and that being yourself will help you attract friends who share those values. Expect some name-calling ("loser," "jerk"), a kiss or two, and one vampire-bite setup complete with ketchup "blood." 

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What's the story?

Davis Pell (Rahart Adams) has been the awkward new kid in school so many times he's lost count, and he figures this time will be no different. But when a series of misunderstandings causes him to be mistaken for a vampire, he's suddenly thrust to the center of the school's in crowd and finds himself on the arm of popularity queen Caitlyn Crisp (Tiera Skorbye). Desperate to keep the magic alive, he enlists the help of his neighbor Vi (Brec Bassinger), who has her own motivations for keeping up the ruse and schools him in all things vampire. As time goes on, though, it becomes harder and harder to conceal the truth, and Davis begins to wonder if it's really worth all the trouble to hide his real identity.

Is it any good?

What sells this comedy is that it doesn't take itself too seriously; it accepts its role as a frivolous parody of Twilight and similar melodramas and just has fun with it. Adams is excellent as the naïve Davis, who by virtue of some fortuitous food aversions and a timely encounter with body glitter sets the rumor mill in motion about his true identity. Given his social awkwardness, it's hard to blame him for riding the popularity wave at the expense of others' feelings, but it is good to see him step up and do the right thing in the end.

LIAR, LIAR, VAMPIRE is silly and self-effacing, but it does well to illustrate the importance of being yourself and surrounding yourself with people who appreciate the real you. Davis is influenced by his sudden popularity to become someone else just to maintain it, but he learns that that doesn't bring happiness, and Vi finds that there's value in peer relationships with the right people. Even Caitlyn changes for the better, giving tweens three examples of characters choosing integrity over status. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this movie presents teen relationships. How do the characters prejudge each other? Do any of their assessments turn out to be correct? Is this kind of thing a problem within your kids' peer groups? 

  • What's the difference between attraction and infatuation? Which examples exist in this story of each? Is it difficult to resist the pressure of status and popularity when finding friends? 

  • Do your tweens like the vampire genre? What accounts for its popularity? Is any character a reliably good role model, or does each show a dark side at some point?  

TV details

Themes & Topics

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