With Halloween just around the corner I felt it appropriate to bring you some top 10 lists that will set the mood, and you can look forward to two more scary themed lists this month. As a huge fan of vampires in general I’ll have to be honest in stating that really, I have only dipped my toes into the “genre” that is “Vampire Films”. I should hang my head in shame, but I will be happy to revisit this topic in the future as there are MANY vampire films out there that deserve some praise that I eagerly look forward to watching as well. I hope you feel that there is some merit in my choices for this top 10 list and you’ll be happy to know that there wont be a sparkly vampire in sight.
10. 30 Days of Night (2007)
At the time of its release, 30 Days of Night was a relatively original concept, instead of getting the sexy Anne Rice type vampires, David Slade depicted the vampires as what they really are, monsters. In a The Thing (1982) type scenario Eben (Josh Hartnett) and Stella (Melissa George) Oleson find themselves stuck in perpetual night in an Alaskan town which is then invaded by a group of opportunistic vampires. Eben, utilising his skills as a Sheriff, leads a group of survivors into battle against the bloodthirsty gang.
9. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
As a lover of foreign film, this film is a refreshing take on the vampire genre. An Iranian western noir vampire film with a nod to James Dean, Ana Lily Amirpour‘s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is definitely different from your standard vampire tale. Instead of the typical blood and gore we get subtlety. This film is more of a love story than anything, and makes an interesting commentary on poverty, drugs, and Muslim women. Amirpour is definitely one to keep your eyes on.
8. Byzantium (2012)
Neil Jordan juxtaposes his more well-known vampire film with hugely underrated Byzantium, a film that instead of dealing with vampires of the upper crust of society, tells the story of Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) and Clara (Gemma Arterton), two female vampires who have survived for two centuries as second class citizens. Whilst on the run for breaking vampire law, Clara goes from day-to-day struggling to provide for her and her daughter Eleanor. As Clara battles with poverty and modern society, Eleanor is faced with an eternity of loneliness and melancholy until she meets Frank (Caleb Landry Jones), with whom she finally shares her deadly secret.
7. Let the Right One In (2008)
The better adaptation of the amazing novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist. LTROI tells the story of the immortal child Eli (Lina Leandersson), who without the assistance of her carer now has to fend for herself. When Eli encounters Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), a bullied and isolated boy, she finds the companionship she needs, the love she receives from Oskar she returns in kind with revenge on the ones who have tormented him.
6. Blade (1998)
What is the better Blade film? At least we can confidently state it is not the third one, but regardless of which you prefer, the Blade trilogy was one of the more interesting comic book adaptations of a lesser known Marvel character. Yes it may not be the best of vampire films, but with Wesley Snipes as a good guy vampire who kicks some serious butt, you have to admit that Blade was just plain cool.
5. The Hunger (1983)
The Hunger was most notable for its infamous lesbian sex scene, and yes this film does ooze sex, but I love it so much more for what else it brings to the table. Catherine Deneuve plays Miriam Blaylock, an ancient vampire who has had many lovers, her current lover John (David Bowie) inexplicably begins aging when unbeknownst to him Miriam has decided on her next lover Sarah (Susan Sarandon). As Miriam sets about wooing Sarah, John desperately seeks a solution to his aging problem, unaware that the cause of his aging is Miriam herself. The Hunger is on this list because I love its tragic telling of eternal love and heartbreak.
4. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
In one of his earliest works, Robert Rodriguez completely subverted expectations with From Dusk Till Dawn, one moment you think you are watching a crime/hostage film and then BAM! Vampires. I love how Rodriguez utilises The Evil Dead (1981) style gore and how could we forget Salma Hayek as Santanico Pandemonium in what I think is possibly one of the sexiest moments on-screen.
3. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Francis Ford Coppola‘s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula was sadly not well received on release. Yes it may be campy, and Keanu Reeves is pretty bad in it, but that is massively overshadowed by Gary Oldman‘s awesome performance, as well as brilliant make up, costumes, sets and outlandish cinematography. Tom Waits is also excellent as Renfield. Aside from that, Dracula is beautiful love story, and as the tag line says “Love never dies”.
As a big fan of Anne Rice novels how could I not adore Neil Jordan‘s adaptation. Anne Rice’s vampires feel like what vampires should be, dangerous yet alluring, seductive yet eternally alone. When Lestat (Tom Cruise) seeks companionship with Louis (Brad Pitt), he creates a vampire who resents who he is, Louis is now faced with an eternal existence of guilt, loneliness and a deep thirst.
1. The Lost Boys (1987)
It is hard to pinpoint what makes Joel Schumacher‘s 80’s classic so good, if you ask most people what their favourite vampire films are, I guarantee that The Lost Boys will be in there somewhere, if not they probably either haven’t seen it (shocking) or have bad taste in films. It is chock full of 80’s cheese, is funny yet stylish, and has a great soundtrack. I loved this film as a child and I still love it today, and I think the nostalgic factor plays a huge part in the cult following of this film.