Best Vampire Movies Oct 15, 2014 22:00:41 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Oct 15, 2014 22:00:41 GMT -5
Eight Best Vampire Movies
There are hundreds of vampire movies, 200 alone with “Dracula” in the title, but very, very few that merit viewing or even awareness. These days, it’s not exactly a genre that lends itself to quality. What follows is a list of a precious few that are worth your time.
Note: F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, Tod Browning’s 1931 Dracula and Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 Vampyr are all of course firmly in the vampire canon and should be seen by any lover of horror movies. They’re just not on this list. Including them just seemed academic.
Another note: I have not seen the well-regarded vampire movies Byzantium and Trouble Every Day; nor have I seen three-fifths of The Twilight Saga.
8. Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 adaptation of Stoker’s book is not exactly a good movie or a bad movie, but it is an unapologetically garish one. It’s like an especially manic Kanye West album, overstuffed and self-indulgent, but too crazy to dismiss. Gary Oldman’s Dracula is kooky even by ’90s Gary Oldman standards. Anthony Hopkins is Van Helsing, Keanu Reeves is Harker, Winona Ryder is Mina and Tom Waits is the bug-eating Renfield. Dracula is a splendid mess, every scene overacted, every visual overcooked. And yet everyone’s so committed to this wonky vision that the movie kind of works.
7. Blade II. Guillermo del Toro brought his dark, gooey sensibilities to the “Blade” series and in the process made one of his most entertaining movies. The masterpiece of the movie are The Reapers, a breed of vampires who feed on other vampires, their mouths opening vertically to reveal a ghastly, flower-like tongue. Blade teams up with the vampires to stop the uber-vampires, and we’re treated to near-constant bone-crunching action and an enjoyably pissy Ron Perlman performance.
6. Interview with the Vampire. Neil Jordan brought Anne Rice’s lacey vampire stories to the screen with quite a bit of verve. The cast didn’t hurt. Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, Stephen Rea and a very young Kirsten Dunst are all excellent.
5. Thirst. The director of Oldboy and Stoker brought the vampire tale to South Korea. Here, a priest becomes a vampire and must fight all his terrible urges in the name of his faith. When he infects a young woman, stuff starts to get really weird, weird in a way that only Korean cinema could. A few parts slog, but the conclusion is perfect and unforgettable.
4. Fright Night. The original Fright Night starring Chris Sarandon is flawless in its mix of horror and comedy. Chris Sarandon plays the vampire next door, and William Ragsdale plays the teen trying to expose him. The Colin Farrell remake is also pretty solid.
3. Only Lovers Left Alive. One of the best vampire movies ever came out just this year. It’s a Jim Jarmusch film starring Tilda Swinton and Tom “Loki” Hiddleston as a pair of vampire lovers who’ve been alive for centuries. It’s a low-key and wry sort of vampire film. Its concern isn’t blood or scares but a question: What would it be like to be alive for hundreds of years? The answer: crushing boredom. Fortunately, audiences will be far more interested in the vampires’ story than the vampires are.
2. Near Dark. Long before The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow was making genre movies like Point Break and Strange Days and, best of all, Near Dark, a vampire story recast as an outlaw western. Vampire girl meets human boy, turns human boy into vampire boy. Newly vampire boy meets vampire girl’s homicidal, redneck vampire family. Road trip!
1. Let the Right One In. A young boy and girl meet on a snow-covered playground in Sweden. The boy is sensitive and bullied. The girl is a very old vampire. Let the Right One In is certainly scary in places, but it has an ineffable, haunting quality that makes it unlike any other film. It hits the appropriate vampire beats, but it’s much more interesting than most of the genre. It’s less about what it means to be a vampire than it is about what it means to be a vampire's caretaker. The cold, austere setting imbues every scene with dread. Even the hopeful ending is tainted by the inevitable misery to come.
Source: Micah Mertes, Omaha World-Herald, October 15, 2014.