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All right, it’s Halloween, folks, and there’s a good chance you’re looking for the perfect film to watch. Luckily, there’s a whole slew of scary pics to choose from that should give you the heebie-jeebies.
Still, if you’re looking for something more, ah, traditional, why not try a class vampire flick? Believe me, there are plenty to choose from. In fact, I wrote about some of them in the weeks leading up to the latest blood-sucking chapter, The Last Voyage of the Demeter.
No matter. To conclude our monster series, I’m here to offer five great vampire flicks for you to check out on this All Hallows Eve. Let’s do this.
Let Me In (2010)
I still haven’t seen the original Swedish film Let the Right One In, but I thoroughly enjoyed Matt Reeves’ somber, morbid remake. Ripe with atmosphere and packed with terrific performances by Chloë Grace Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Elias Koteas, and Richard Jenkins, this stylish vampire thriller sees a lonely young boy befriend a girl who turns out to be a vampire. Cute, right? Well, no … as is customary in most modern Hollywood flicks about high school, the boy is bullied and abused and in dire need of a person with remarkable powers to save the day. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, folks. This one won’t enliven your party mates — it’ll freak ’em out though!
Recommending a film from the early 1920s is typically the type of move that gets you called pretentious or, in the words of the great Ferris Bueller, snooty. I promise you, though, Nosferatu is weird as fuh, especially when you consider all the rumors surrounding actor Max Schreck, who many claim was a real vampire. He wasn’t … probably. As a bonus, after your viewing, you can check out Shadow of the Vampire, starring Willem Dafoe and John Malkovich, which is all about the making of Nosferatu. It’s more funny than scary, but also compelling and a fun treat for movie geeks.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
I stand by my assessment that Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a great horror flick, regardless of Keanu Reeves’ flat performance. Gary Oldman is phenomenal as Vlad Dracula, in love with and willing to kill for Winona Ryder’s Mina Harker — who can blame him? Anthony Hopkins, Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes, and Monica Bellucci (in a brief role as Dracula’s bride) round out the cast, but it’s the incredible costumes, art direction, and Francis Ford Coppola’s skill behind the camera that pushes the pic past the finish line. This is delectable horror — old-fashioned, skillfully produced, and fun to watch, especially if you’re into bestiality.
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Neil Jordan’s gothic bromance chronicles the never-ending lives of two vampires played by Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. While a tad plodding in parts and a bit episodic, this lavish adaptation of Anne Rice’s 1976 novel nonetheless presents a much different perspective on vampire lore. We empathize with these gnarly beasts, mainly when one of them is a bratty young girl (Kirsten Dunst) coming to terms with spending eternity as an 11-year-old. The picture is shockingly violent in parts, handsomely produced, and campy. Yet, I wholeheartedly recommend Interview with the Vampire to fans of the genre and those desiring an extremely dark look at a life of damnation.
I mean, you gotta tip your hat to the original, right? Like his fellow Universal monsters, Dracula looks old but still has fangs sharp enough to pierce a bull’s hide. The sets are fantastic, and the story intrigues, even if you have to get over Bela Lugosi’s oft-parodied performance. He’s still creepy — “I never drink … wine” — but there’s something unique about this Batman. He’s just a lost soul vying for his long-lost love. And since Director Tod Browning mostly strays from the truly ghastly horror, we empathize with his creature of the night and fear him all the same. A true legend.
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