When and Where Does Dampyr Take Place? Is Yorvolak a Real Place?

Directed by Riccardo Chemello, ‘Dampyr’ is an adaptation of the Italian comic book series of the same name. The 2022 horror fantasy film revolves around Harlan, a young man with a mysterious past who becomes embroiled in a conflict with vampires. However, when Harlan learns that he is a being known as “Dampyr” and can defeat the vampires, he decides to become a vampire hunter. The film serves as an origin story for the titular character, taking viewers into the heart of a war that serves as the narrative’s backdrop. As a result, viewers must be curious to learn when and where ‘Dampyr’ takes place! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Dampyr Is Set in the Balkans of the 1990s

‘Dampyr’ follows the story of Harlan Draka, a half-human, half-vampire hybrid known by the titular title who can fight and defeat vampires. The film’s story begins at an unspecified time in the past, during Harlan’s birth. However, the story then jumps forward in time and focuses on Harlan in his adult years. At the film’s start, it is established that the story is set against the backdrop of war in Europe. The film’s events primarily take place in the year 1992. The same is confirmed when Emil and his troop arrive at a small town during a war.

The war depicted in the film is most likely a part of the Yugoslav Wars, a series of wars across Europe fought from 1991 to 2001. Emil’s introductory scene coincides with the real-life Yugoslav Wars, particularly the Bosnian War, which started in April of the same year. Furthermore, the Yugoslav Wars were also called the “Wars in the Balkans,” which hints at the geographical location of the movie.

During the scene in which Emil and his troop are seen entering a town, it is revealed that the story takes place in the Balkans, a region of Europe with a controversial and divisive history regarding its comments and political control. In the movie’s later half, the narrative sees Harlan, Emil, and Tesla traveling to another city, where the lair of Gorka, a master vampire, is located. While the town’s name is never confirmed, it resembles Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The same is true for Harlan’s fight with Gorka in the comics, making it safe to assume that the town is a war-torn version of Sarajevo.

Yorvolak Is a Fictional Town

When Emil’s troop first appears, they enter a small town where the entire population has been massacred. The town’s name is revealed to be Yorvolak, and it is located in the Balkan region. However, Yorvolak does not exist in reality, and it is fictional. The town is the primary setting of the original comic book’s first issue, which introduces the character of Harlan Draka/Dampyr, titled ‘The Devil’s Son.’

The first issue is the fictional town’s only appearance in the comic books. As a result, it is safe to say that Yorvolak is not directly based on any real place. Instead, it is a fictional town that serves as the setting for the main character’s introduction while also tying in with the Yugoslav Wars backdrop of the story. The filming of scenes set in Yorvolak was most likely done in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. Therefore, Bucharest is the closest real-world counterpart to the fictional town of Yorvolak.

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