Let’s get this out and in the open: I love vampire movies. Before you judge me or mention Twilight, let me stop you right there. It did not begin with Twilight, sparkly vampires, or even Ian Smolderhalder in The Vampire Diaries. It all started with the cult and my personal favorite The Lost Boys.
I blame my mom for my strange love. As a lover of the horror genre, she was frustrated she couldn’t get me to watch any of her favorite scary movies. Fed up with my wussy behavior, she pulled out The Lost Boys when I was in middle school and from then on I was hooked. I showed the film to all my friends, friends of friends, everyone. The vampire genre is bloody, but not hack limbs from children level of gore. The lore of the monster is so well known, but writers are still able to pick apart elements of the creature and still create fresh material.
In honor of Halloween and my favorite familiar, here’s my vampire hit list of favorites, so grab a bottle of red wine and try not to get seduced by my preferred monster.
The Lost Boys
This is a given. If you haven't seen this movie, see it. See it now. Set in the sketchy seaside town of Santa Carla (definitely not modeled after Santa Cruz, CA), two brothers are put at odds when the eldest is turned into a blood-sucking vampire. It's cheesy in all the right ways, from great lines such as "My own brother, a goddamn, shit-sucking vampire. You wait 'till mom finds out, buddy", to the original glittering vampire. Bonus points for Kiefer Sutherland as a vampire punk.
What if you lived in a world where instead of the entire population being made up of humans, it was vampires? That's the premise Daybreakers, where a vampire discovers a pack of humans on the lamb from a vampire corporation looking to harvest them for the last remaining supply of blood. Ethan Hawke, a personal favorite, plays the lead who desperately wants to be human again, playing up the vulnerability and charisma we know so well from his previous roles. The film puts a spin on the genre by proposing the notion that vampirism can be cured. While this film isn't widely known, it's a secret gem.
I have a confession to make, I haven't seen any of the other Blade movies, only Blade Trinity. Bite me, but they didn't really hook me, as I was scrolling through channels on TV. Blade Trinity excels much in the same way The Lost Boys does, in that it doesn't take itself too seriously. Ryan Reynolds kills as a sarcastic vampire hunter, with enough sass and snark it's easy to see how he was cast Deadpool.
Its got blood. Its got Colin Farrell. Its got Anton Yelchin (RIP Sweet Babe.) The film follows a young man as he tries to defend his town, and those he cares about from his vampire neighbor. The film is full of laughs, thanks to Christopher Mintz-Plasse take on the undead, and while the premise is familiar, it's not predictable.
Byzantium centers on the story of a mother and daughter who take shelter in a seaside town, on the run from a ruthless vampire coven looking for vengeance. The film has a refreshing take on the idea of how a human is turned into a vampire, unlike anything we've seen on our screens (hint: it's in the gif above.) The pace is slow, the colors are magnificent and the acting, most notably from rising star Saorise Ronan, is too good to be missed.
Ever wondered what a movie would be like if you fused Clueless with a vampires? Well, this movie is it. Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter play vampire party girls who get their blood from their vermin extermination business and spend their nights attending community college classes and partying the night away at clubs. When Ritter's Stacy falls in love with Joey Van Helsing, of the famed vampire hunters Van Helsings, she has to hide her true nature to avoid being staked. The film was created by Amy Heckerling, writer and director Clueless, so you know you're in for a fun time.
Well, there you have it, my list of vampire flicks.
Keep Calm and Bleed on.