VRDLK is a 15 minute, spine-chilling animated horror that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Directed by Sam Chou and written by Ellery Vandooyeweert, this exquisitely made film is a retelling of Alexei Tolstoy's gothic novella about a wealthy Marquise who recounts his chilling experience with a poor peasant family and their terrifying brush with vurdulaks. (vampire werewolves)
The film is part of a larger animated anthology series called Red Iron Road and was a joint venture between two Canadian production companies, Look Mom! Productions and Lakeside Animation. The creative minds behind the project were Aljoscha Klimov, Matthew Lyon, and Aron Dunn, while the producers were Courtney Wolfson, Josh Bowen, and Lee Porter.
Dan Beirne delivers a fantastic performance as the arrogant Marquise D'Urfe, while Gwynne Phillips plays the beautiful Zdenka and George Tchortov brings stoicism to the character of Georgy. Adriane Egan delivers a haunting portrayal of the Patriarch of the family, Gorcha, and Michelle Monteith plays Polina. Keegan Hedley plays the young Petr, and John Stocker and Paul Van Dyck play the monks.
Overall, VRDLK is a terrifyingly well-crafted horror animation that will leave you wanting more. The combination of talented actors, exceptional animation, and a captivating storyline make it a must-watch for fans of horror and animation alike.
“I’ve always been attracted to mythical creatures and horribly flawed characters. I love black comedies and crazy creature films and this was our attempt to mash the two together.” -Sam Chou VRDLK: Family of Vurdulak animated film
VRDLK: (pronounced Vor-Du-Lac) centers around a traveling diplomat that is caught in a snowstorm and forced to take shelter with a poor Serbian family. When the family warns him of “beasts” that hunt in the night, he is quick to dismiss their fears as superstition and fairy tales - a mistake he may not have a chance to make twice. Based on acclaimed Russian writer, Aleksey Tolstoy's 1839 gothic novella, "The Family of The Vourdulak"
"I had a blast watching VRDLK: Family of Vurdulak, and give the short a strong recommendation to fans of classic horror, classic animation, and fright-fare fans of all stripes."
Chou’s briskly energetic take definitely holds nostalgic appeal for horror fans, while delivering plenty of action and blood. Enthusiastically recommended, VRDLK: Family of Vurdulak had its world premiere at this year’s Fantasia.
Travel down the road of European horror fiction with the screening of four episodes of the lauded animated anthology at the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International on February 18; the collection of ‘terrifying tales’ heads to theaters and streamers later this year.