Teen rom-coms or just stories about teenagers being stupid and goofy have a special place in our hearts. That’s probably why, of late, looking at the falling quality of content coming out of that genre, we have developed some cynicism towards it. Every time we tune into a new rom-com, there is an expectation of disappointment mixed with the hope of being wrong about it. In the case of “HollyBlood,” the latter feeling wins, and we couldn’t be happier. The movie follows Javi as he pretends to be a vampire to get closer to Sara, his crush, who is obsessed with them. As one of the characters puts it, it is some “premium level stalking,” and we agree. There will be no justification for that. Regardless, right from the storyline to the execution, the movie is a parody that borders on perfection by not going over the top. Let’s explore further.
Why Does Javi Pretend To Be Azrael?
“HollyBlood” starts with a scene in 1984–85, with a boy called Antonio Caldera getting bullied by some of the guys in his class. He is pushed into the water, and they start laughing at him, not realizing that he has died. As they begin to understand that a shadow passes across the hall. Before they know it, all of them are killed by a monster, predictably a vampire. Antonio is pulled out of the pool, and the monster feeds him a few drops of his blood, essentially turning him into a vampire. Cut to the modern day. Sara is chatting online with someone she believes to be Lidia but is actually Javi. She tells Lidia about how she believes that she finally has a lead on Azrael—the first vampire to ever be. She mentions that she is going to meet him at the premiere of the movie “HollyBlood.”
On Javi’s end, his father accidentally catches him impersonating Lidia and assumes that his son is gay. On telling him that he fully supports him, Javi confesses the situation and asks him what he should do. His father just told him to be honest. There are a few more important characters here. There is Diego, who runs a YouTube channel called “putastakeitin,” which is centered around the paranormal. Through him, we come to know that there were a few disappearances a few years ago, and recently, another boy by the name of Borja has disappeared. We know the first disappearance refers to the case in 1984-1985. The recent case indicates that the case is active again. Diego believes that this is the work of a vampire and wants to find him and kill him. Another character is Jose Manuel, who is referred to as Manu. He is obsessed with Sara and wants her to be his girlfriend, but she is not interested. She has a best friend, Carmen, who is confined to a wheelchair and clearly thinks of Sara as more than just a friend.
At the premiere of HollyBlood, Sara, Diego, and Javi show up, all for their own motives. There is a third person-Antonio Caldera, and he is who the audience assumes to be Azrael for now. During the movie, Diego causes a commotion, and when everybody is rushing out, the scaffolding at a point breaks and is about to fall on Sara but is held up by Javi. What the others can’t see is that it is being held back by a chain. Sara assumes that Javi has superhuman strength and that he might be the Azrael she was going to meet. Later that night, when she chats with Lidia, Javi continues the farce. The next day, Lidia is convinced that Javi is Azrael and comes up with her own story about his situation. Javi agrees with it all, and they make a plan to meet at her place next. The charade is just getting deeper, with Javi showing up at Sara’s place in HollyBlood makeup and making up a bunch of lies along the way. She makes him an ally in a plan between her and Carmen to break into a cosmetics company and release all the animals they are testing on. But things take a turn when they are caught, and the security guard accidentally shoots a blank at Javi. It now looks like Javi has stopped a bullet and is really immortal. They run out of there and make their way to Javi’s house, where he introduces his father as “Svenjorgenskrunghdol the Third,” whom he had converted many years ago and now uses as his cover to pretend as his father. Honestly, these kids watch too many movies.
The next day at the gym, when Manu tries to bully Javi and Sara, she dances with him as a way of showing that he is indeed someone very special to her. Both of them kiss and are officially a couple. Meanwhile, the real Azrael is keeping a watchful eye on these developments. He is probably waiting to find out what Sara wants from him. On the other hand, Javi wants to come clean with her. And he tries to but is distracted when Sara takes him to the pool. There, she tells him that she wants him to convert her into a vampire. And now we know what Azrael’s appeal was to her all along.
Why Does Sara Want To Be A Vampire?
Despite the constant dissing in “HollyBlood” of the fictional world of vampires in “Young Adult” literature, it gives us a moment to think about why the genre is so popular, to begin with. In the case of Sara, it was her way of coping with the loss of her mother to cancer. She says that whenever she would discuss vampires and werewolves with her mother, she would tell her to consider the limitless possibilities in the world. And vampires are immortal. They never get sick and are never ever hurt. Sara wanted to become a vampire because she wanted to escape the pain and hardship, she had seen her mother go through. As for the popularity of the genre, keep in mind that the primary audience is women. They are, more often than not, conditioned with the idea of finding a ‘forever.’ And most of the male leads in these fictions are guys who are handsome as hell and find their entire world revolving around the girl, who is presented as someone ordinary, but turns out to be more than that, in the journey of that love story. Isn’t that the best fantasy in the world? And that’s why Edward Cullen and the Salvatore brothers continue to be fan favorites to this day.
Sara is heartbroken when Javi refuses to turn her into a vampire and leaves. Javi wants to talk to her but is ambushed by Diego, who asks him to prove that he is indeed not a vampire. The following sequence of events for the presentation of the proof are quite cringe-worthy and somewhat homophobic, but we are going to let that go. The next day at school, Azrael decides that enough is enough, and he reveals himself to Javi and Sara. He threatens Javi to stay away from Sara and makes a plan with her to meet up after school. Javi is worried about Sara and makes a plan with his dad and Diego as to how to protect her. His dad, Fernando, recognizes Azrael and tells the boys that he used to be his classmate and that his real name is Antonio Caldera, aka Pelofrito. He is by no means Azrael. The boys now make their way to school to keep an eye on Azrael and Sara. They also call them Manu and Carmen, and slyly include them in the plan. At school, Sara understands that Pelofrito has no plans to turn her into a vampire. It was all just a ruse. Some events follow where all the characters reach the place, and it is revealed that Antonio never kills anyone. He just lures the girls, drinks a little of their blood, and lets them go. The real Azrael who is responsible for the killings is someone else. In the next moment, it is revealed that Azrael is no one but Sister Learza.
‘HollyBlood’ Ending Explained: Is Javi Alive? What Happened To Azrael?
The reason Poliferito came back to school was to find the vampire who converted him. Because he wanted to be human again. Being a teenager for eternity meant that he never had any money, and life was forever difficult. He wanted an end to that. But Azrael was too strong for him. This makes the whole group come up with a plan—they all decide to turn into vampires with Poliferito’s blood and take down the OG vampire together. The plan works, and they are about to drown him in a pool of holy water. How the “holy water” pool was made is better seen than told. As they are about to push Azrael in, he turns into a beautiful woman and hypnotizes the group. But Sara and Javi are the only ones unaffected. Seeing them lose the battle, Javi steps back, confesses his love for Sara, and jumps into the pool with Azrael. It looks like he has turned to dust with the vampire, but he comes out of the water, alive and breathing. Azarel is dead, and the hero gets the girl. In the post-credits scene, which is a flashback to 1984–85, we see a shadow pass across the wall. Could there be another vampire that is to be introduced? Will there be a sequel to “HollyBlood”? We want there to be one, because this was just too good.
Final Thoughts: What Works For ‘HollyBlood’?
We would guess that self-awareness was the greatest asset of “HollyBlood.” And balance. It is a parody, but not over the top. It disses the prevalent craze for supernatural young adult fiction but tries to understand the reasoning behind it as well. It made sure not to antagonize anyone and made a great movie out of it. Also, the main cast was drop-dead gorgeous. But since they were sticking to cliche appearances for the sense of a parody, maybe Javi could have been styled to look like someone who would actually be nervous around girls? Perhaps there is an argument against this train of thought, but it remains to be seen. It was a genuinely funny movie, and we definitely did not expect to like it so much. Nevertheless, we are impressed and eagerly look forward to any sequel the makers decide to bring out, because the “HollyBlood” movie deserves one.
“HollyBlood” is a 2022 Horror Comedy film directed by Jesus Font.