‘Tis the season for gore, mayhem, blood and guts. Halloween is a week away and now is the time more than ever to get into the spirit of it. What better way then to have a horror movie marathon of the best that is out there. The genre I like best is vampire movies. They are scary, seductive and many well crafted out there…here are my top choices for the best vampire movies to watch…they don’t suck!
In no particular order since they all have a unique quality about them that differs from the other.
Based on a graphic novel
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
This movie takes the conspiracy that our former President, Abraham Lincoln, was in fact a closet vampire hunter. The story line is interesting, intertwining historical fact with fiction. The twist from the tradition vampire hunter is that he uses an ax rather than a stake…which is apropos considering Lincoln’s childhood. The action and the graphic are well done and the acting is good considering it’s a horror/action movie.
30 Days of Night
Never thought I would have liked this movie…didn’t think it would do anything for me…horror wise. But I was wrong, this movie is very scary…the vampires piercing black voided eyes are haunting and the landscape of permanent dark night against the white snow has a symbolic undertone…good of the Alaskan humans (white snow) against the evil menacing vampires (dark night). I don’t think I will every make the trip to the snow country during that time of season specifically because of this film. Worth the watch for the gore scenes and the visual effects.
These are a bit cheesy but addictive to watch. Selene played by Kate Beckinsale is the main character and she really kicks ass! If feminists were vampires, she would definitely be the leader. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and defies some of the vampire rules. So major acting players…Kate Beckinsale, Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen. It’s a battle of vampires against werewolves living in the modern world with humans.
Period Romanticized Movies
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
This is a classic that any beginner should watch. Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins are superb. Gary Oldman plays Count Dracula and though you’re not suppose to like him…he’s very likeable in this film. You want Dracula and Mina to get together…it’s a love story. The cinematography is well done and Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins transform their characters and make them believable. You hate Van Helsing and you end up loving Count Dracula.
Interview with a Vampire
This movie is all about the well to do and vampires living among them. Lestat takes Louis under his wing…and Louis (Brad Pitt) hates him for it and torments himself by denying himself human blood. The movie was crafted beautifully and the actors costumes and the actors themselves are beautiful with Brad Pitt as the protagonist and the antagonist Lestat played by Tom Cruise.
This movie may have not hit the radar for well known vampire movies but it will. As Interview with a Vampire highlights the beauty and wealthy lifestyles of the period, this film exposes the low ranking paupers who as vampires do what it takes to survive centuries. Eleanor is the daughter of Clara and the bond becomes clear as Clara does what is necessary to keep them hidden and surviving in a small seaside resort town. There is beauty, sex, love, horror and sorrow in this film…so much complexity. The acting is well played by Saoirse Ronan (Eleanor) and Gemma Arterton (Clara).
Sex and Love
Kiss of the Damned
This movie exudes sex. There is this strong sexual chemistry between the vampiress, Djuna, and this mysterious dark and handsome writer, Paolo. She caves to her animalistic desires and turns him into a vampire. As she guides him into the vampire lifestyle we see that vampires carry some hardships in keeping their world a secret from humans. But Djuna sister, Mimi, threatens that love life that Djuna and Paolo are trying to create. This movie has some major sex scenes and definitely romanticizes the vampire life.
Only Lovers Left Alive
Where there is a movie about sexy vampires there is this beautiful movie about true love and how the love between these two vampires played by Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston. Watch the movie just to see Tom Hiddleston or watch it more so for the amazing acting and the bizarre lifestyle vampires must live in the modern world. These vampires are bored with life since they have lived it so long…but it’s dramatic to watch.
The Lost Boys
The Lost Boys is a classic 80s film and also a classic horror flick. Two teenage boys move to a new bohemian town. One falls in love with a mysterious girl only to find out she’s taken and with the wrong kind of crowd. They seem like biker gang kind of boys but in turn they are vampires…making them even worse to deal with. There is action, gore and love in this movie. At the height when Jason Patric, Corey Haim and Kiefer Sutherland were very popular. A fun movie to watch.
A bit of humor
Fright Night (2011)
Make sure if you decided to watch this movie you rent the 2011 version. I am not normally a person who like remakes but this movie is the exception. Colin Farrell carries this movie. He plays Jerry the vampire…what kind of name is that for a vampire. It works! Set in Vegas which is the perfect town for any vampire to live. This movie has some humorous quotes from Charley Brewster and his friend Ed (McGlovin from Superbad). But Jerry the vampire is badass, sexy and scary all at the same time.
What We Do in the Shadows
This mockumentary is hilarious. It’s like the Real World for vampires. You have a cast of characters: the nice anal retentive vampire (Viago), the dark and moody bad boy (Vladislav), the cool slacker (Deacon), the estranged hermit (Petyr) and the new boy (Nick). The documentary follows them in their everyday life and it is really funny to watch what happens.
Watch Jim Carrey (Mark Kendall) as a newbie actor in this 1980s flick. He plays a horny teenager who can’t wait to lose his virginity. So much so that he ends up going home with the mysterious and seductive Countess. She needs a virgin to keep up her young appearance otherwise she turns old. Definitely a B-rated movie but still funny to watch.
Not the Norm
I didn’t have a chance to find this movie on Netflix to comment on it. But from my research and the casting I would say that it’s one to watch. The concept of the population majority is vampires and the minority running scarce is humans. They need to find an alternative to human blood or regrow the human population to survive. Ethan Hawke plays the main character and that is enough for me to want to see it. It’s on the to do list before the end of October.
Eli Roth takes a stab at directing and writer this vampire flick. It contains the same gore as other vampire movies but the vampires in this movie can be weak and they get hurt if they don’t get enough blood so that seem more fragile like a sick human than what you’d expect from the tradition vampire.
Starry Eyes doesn’t reveal itself as a vampire movie until the very end. But I would still consider it a vampire movie. Seeking fame in Hollywood comes at a price for some girls, especially our lead. There are some definite gory scene when she starts to become the undead. I had to turn my head a couple of times when certain parts of her body fall apart. I won’t go into details…but this unexpected movie gives you a scare.
Shadow of the Vampire
Taking the original classic film, Nosferatu, and going behind the scenes to the making of the it. William Defoe plays the main character Max Schreck, who was found by director Frederich Wilhelm Murnau (John Malkovich). While most of the cast thinks they’re all acting the director and Max Schreck know otherwise and it starts to show towards the end of the making of the film. Frederich will stop at nothing to finish making his masterpiece…costing the lives of the cast and crew. Well played by both William Defoe and John Malkovich.
There are many more vampire films to view but these were my favorite thus far.
Do you have a favorite vampire movie? Something not listed? I would love to hear it! Any other genre of horror films you like to watch?