I try not to pre-judge movies, but this is one I was totally expecting to hate. It looked far too knowing, and came out of the fairly shitty (especially for someone who likes history and literature) trend of kitsch stunt books that shove supernatural elements into things that were interesting on their own.
I was wrong.
That’s right, I actually really dug this movie, specifically because it operates under the assumption that just because the premise is goofy that doesn’t mean the movie can’t be played completely straight. It’s also amazing to see a movie that’s full of the sort of American iconography played mythic that most movies tend to be ashamed of, or misappropriate for right-wing jingoistic patriotism. By turning Lincoln into an axe-swinging superhero, it’s a smart grindhousey wish fulfillment B-movie fantasy, but that’s not bad at all, and it never suffers the too-ironic winking that most movies of this type would be full of. Add to that the always-fantastic Mary Elizabeth Winstead continuing to be fantastic and you have a shockingly entertaining, fully competent action monster movie. Go figure.
Also, a vampire throws a horse at Abraham Lincoln. Any movie that has an idea as beautifully absurd as that deserves some love.