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A long time ago when a witch makes a mistake in her love potion for her only daughter, the girl accidentally falls in love with a vampire, recently moved into a town. The spell is no match for real love and the two marry, in time having their own children. This makes them the first hybrid witch/vampires. Their secret kept from the rest of the world, the brother and sister hybrids long to be normal and leave the dusty old castle and the pressures of their parents who won’t hear of it.
Teenagers Velana (Leanne Agmon) and Blaz (Mojean Aria) are fine with being a witch and a vampire respectively, even though their powers are combined, but without any neighbors, friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, the two want a chance to explore the real world. They feel confident they can handle whatever might happen, but the folks say no. When the two decide to run away anyway, it’s up to mom, dad, and the grandparents to try and bring them back from the dangers lurking beyond.
Directed by Tony Randel, The Hybrids Family is a mostly light family adventure that tackles some social issues with easy comedy but for what it is, succeeds. With bigotry and tolerance at the core of the story, the film mainly deals with teen angst as Velana and Blaz try to break from the shackles (in this case, coffins) of home. Never digging to deeply into the issues it brings up, it focuses on the more teen-centered interests of romance and independence.
Velana naturally wants to be a singer and Blaz desires to be a film directer. When they use their magical powers to zoom to Palm Tree City, Florida, it’s not long before she has a job (literally getting hired in a pub before even giving her name) and getting noticed at the bar’s open mic and he’s enrolled at the same film school where the girl of his dreams is trying to get a movie made. Meanwhile, a man named Prator (Charles Noland), cursed by the kid’s mother Valentina (Anne Leighton) long ago, learns the children have run off, and using the smartphone Blaz misplaced, tries to kidnap them and use them as ransom. That means the whole family has to get involved, pooling their collective powers to find them.
With veteran actor Paul Sorvino occasionally showing up as The Count, The Hybrid Family is aimed at pre-teen and early teens. The jokes are easy and breezy, the plot never too hard to keep up with, and the action never too heavy that its too scary or violent. Conflicts are easily solved, though that’s the intent, and all the usual dysfunctional family clichés and tropes show up, though some of it’s clever and always harmless. Most everything is right on the nose story-wise, with Blaz’s girl-interest Maria (Lauren Lakis) happen to be making a horror movie about a zombie romance (which needs a singing character) and the staff at the bar where Valena works exuberantly supportive in her singing.
The Hybrid Family is a safe and entertaining young-person’s movie that makes for a good family night at the movies. Never intending to be more than that, it features some good performances by Agmon and Aria and a few laughs, mostly from Leighton and Philip Willingham as the children’s father, the vampire.
Director: Tony Randel
Writer: Tony Schweikle
Stars: Paul Sorvino, Carolyn Hennesy, Mojean Aria, Leanne Agmon