I really enjoyed this film. I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but overall I was pleased when the film ended. It wasn't perfect, but I liked how it mixed history and fantasy for the most part. The idea of vampires using the slave system to supply them with food was a pretty interesting idea and weaved them easily into the antebellum period. I also liked that the vampires had a distinctive look and an interesting power set that made them stand out from run-of-the-mill vamps.
The cast was good for the most part. I thought the guy playing Lincoln did a fine job. He reminded me of a young Liam Neeson. I'm not a big Anthony Mackie fan but I didn't any complaints. He handled the action pretty well.
The film wasn't without faults. I thought the two biggest action scenes could've been shot better to capture the action better. They were hard to follow. With the horse stampede there was way too much dust and too much CGI, which added to the overall improbability of the sequence. Plus I was surprised that there were canyons in Indiana or Illinois.
As for the big train scene at the end, I really found the action hard to follow when the vamps were first attacking the train. Way too much fog.
Other issues I had with the film:
-I thought the female assassins last stand was way too contrived to just get Mary T. Lincoln into the action. It didn't make much sense for her to just stroll into the Union camp and then charge Mary head on, without even using her powers. And also why would she reveal herself to all of those soldiers? Up until that time the vampires had largely kept to the shadows.
-I thought Speed's betrayal could've been better thought out or written. It was like they were hedging on it. I wasn't sure if he really betrayed Lincoln or if it was all part of some plan of his to trap the vampires, of which he just didn't inform Lincoln? Maybe he was lying about that part, but the way it was played, Speed seemed concerned about Lincoln's well being on the train. But at the same time he seemed genuinely surprised that the train didn't contain any silver. I wish they had just made Speed a clear traitor. We had already seen his coolness to Will, and we had seen Lincoln's dismissive attitude towards him during his wedding to Mary. I could easily see Speed's jealousy of Will being something that could've led him to work with the vamps much earlier. In fact, I was expecting him to betray Lincoln when they busted up Adam's plantation get together.
-I thought the film's internal vampire logic took a hit during the train battle between Henry and Adam. Earlier, Henry couldn't get close enough to nick Adam with a knife, because vamps couldn't kill each other. However that didn't stop them from pummeling each other nearly to death on the train?
-Also, how did Henry get off the train, to be on the track just at the right spot to save Lincoln and Will?
-Not really a quibble, but I wonder what happened to Will at the end of the film? Why wasn't he at the White House with Henry or Lincoln at the end?