Very good on its own, and spawned by the same-name movie, with differences!
First of all, let me say this series is pretty much an expanded version of the movie by the same name. At the time, I wondered how it could possibly not be a mere shadow of the movie, but I found out it was actually good on its own, and kept me wanting to see the next episode!!
The special effects were along the same level as the original movie, and the plot added several twists to the overall story, including a slight shift away from "traditional vampires", (whatever that means), and is more interesting for the shift. This series seems to have wanted to distance itself from being confused with a "zombie" or "vampire" series, and it succeeded in becoming a newer genre that is similar to those. Well done!
If the viewer has not seen the original movie, this series stands on its own, (you will not need to see the movie first, but it would not hurt the series if you did...), and held my interest. (Good news is that the series seems to have been renewed for a second season!!) There seemed to be a few things from the original move that were probably slightly less, due to this being a series, but the overall effect of those differences did not hurt the series. For instance, the movie had a driving musical score, but that would have been impossible to sustain through an entire series, and the movie had incredible sequences of mayhem, which were lessened in the series, also probably "economized" because it would also have been impossible to sustain through the series, but was supplimented with sequences of dramatic peril instead - not a bad trade in exchange for an entire series!
For those (anyone?) concerned with elements of the movie, foul/censorable language was also "dialed back" in the series. There was still plenty of gore, violence, surprises, peril, and even topless women, so be warned that this is not suited for children.
Without any of the movie's stars, (but it had some), the cast was well suited for the series, and the "Seth" character would easily be confused with Clooney's movie-version of Seth for most of the series, with his voice and mannerisms. Fortunately, the series' Seth character gradually moved toward his own identity that is similar and familiar, but now slightly different.
And of course, there are differences in the season finale as Seth drives off in the morning light, and you realize the entire series represented only one night... with plenty of set-up for another season.
If I could assign four and a half stars, I would, but I had to settle for only four.