Thursday, October 6, 2011

Top 10 Vampire Films

A tribute to those nocturnal, undead blood-suckers who've thrilled and chilled us over the years. Be sure to sleep with your crucifix and a clove of garlic.

10. Fright Night - 1985. Young horror fan Charlie Brewster must contend with the fact that his neighbor is not only a vampire, but has his eyes, and fangs, set on Charlie's girlfriend. This film makes good on many vampiric myths including holy water, unable to enter unless invited in, and a ghoulish day protector who guards the vampires lair. It also introduces in film the idea that crosses do not work unless faith is behind them. 

9. Shadow Of The Vampire - 2000. An interesting spin on the vampire genre. It comes off as a docudrama about the filming of the legendary vampire film, Nosferatu. The twist is the director hires a real vampire to play the title role. But things get out of hand when he begins to feed on cast and crew.

8. Blade - 1998. When the world is populated with vampires, Blade, a half-vampire himself, stands alone as humanities protector. An action packed kung-fu take on the genre, Blade is based off of a Marvel Comics' character.

7. Bram Stoker's Dracula - 1992. As the 20th Century came to a close, the iconic figure of Dracula got a modern day face lift. Despite some questionable casting choices, Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins more than pull their weight as Dracula and Van Helsing respectively in this new classic directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

6. 30 Days Of Night - 2007. Finally, after almost 2 decades of sexy, homoerotic, gothic creatures of romance and fantasy, someone remembered that vampires are f*cking monsters. In this tale of "why didn't anyone think of this sooner", a North Alaskan town is situated where a sunset can last for 30 days. What better place for a pack of ghoulish vampires to prey upon? The people are isolated, cut of from communication and rescue, and the vampires have a whole month to prey upon and torment their victims before the sun comes up. Vampires finally get their teeth back.

5. Let The Right One In - 2008. This European film is perhaps one of the best Vampire films of the early 21st Century. It is fascinating in its melancholy. A simple story of childhood and friendship, in which the new girl is a savage and powerful vampire. 

4. Nosferatu - 1922. Unofficially the story of Dracula, this silent film is one of the first true feature length vampire films. It has endured almost 90 years now thanks in part to it's unique vampire look (a sort of rat-man), innovative special effects, and fine performances.

3. Dracula - 1931. While Dracula has been told and retold dozens of times throughout the years, this 80 year old film is still the gold standard of Dracula films. Bela Lugosi puts in his career defining performance, and creates an iconic image of the Count that still resonates today.

2. The Lost Boys - 1987. Perhaps the definitive "Vampire in a modern-day context" films, The Lost Boys is truly monumental in the vampire genre. Plenty of scary moments, peppered with action and comedy make this a universally enjoyable film. It also has a deeper subtext as a dark reflection of the Peter Pan story. These teens won't ever grow up.

1. Interview With The Vampire - 1994. The movie based on the novel that redefined the vampire genre. No longer monsters, the vampire is a tragically flawed character, damned to loneliness and despair. While the more nobler parts of their humanity are eroded away, their more crass and selfish natures are nurtured over time. Louie, the central character, struggles with this tug-of-war over his soul throughout this epic tale told over the centuries.

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