I know we’re in the midst of a vampire craze, what with Twilight and True Blood, et cetera, et cetera. I want you to know, I’ve been vampire-obsessed, however, since eighth grade, when I discovered Anne Rice and her epic Vampire Chronicles. No matter how much I shun popular culture’s current adoration of all things undead, I do love a good vampire flick, and oh, there are many. I could probably list about twenty worth seeing, but in the case of this blog post, I’m talking about the ones I can watch over and over. I present, for your consideration, my Top Five Best Vampire Movies of All Time.
5. Let the Right One In
Oh, you beautiful Swedes; what wonderful horror movies you make. America, of course, tried to make its own version of this flick (Let Me In) and failed miserably. Let the Right One In is about 12-year-old Oskar, who is constantly bullied to the point of violence. Then, this creepy chick moves in next door (Eli is twelve, but you know, she’s been twelve for, like, 200 years). Eli goes on a couple accidental killing sprees and bonds with Oskar. This film is gruesome and kind of strange, considering there’s little kid nudity (but she’s really 200, right?). That said, it’s spooky as hell and tells an outstanding story, which is what many vampire movies lack. Plus, the bad guys get theirs,’ and oh, is it ever sweet.
4. Interview with the Vampire
I already mentioned the Vampire Chronicles, so how could I not include the film based on Anne Rice’s Book One? This film follows Louis, a mournful vampire who is tired of eternity, played by a brown-haired Brad Pitt. He tells the story of his relationship with his maker, Lestat (a blond Tom Cruise) and their “daughter,” Claudia (Kirsten Dunst as a kid). There are so many attractive men in this movie, it’s easy to lose count. The costumes and settings are spectacular, and it’s all about character development and okay, yeah, some man-on-man attraction. It’s odd watching Brad and Tom in these roles, roles so out of character for both of them, and you gotta imagine they giggled through the absurdity of certain scenes. This one is less horror, more fun to watch, and I can watch it again, again, and again.
3. Fright Night (remake)
I don’t particularly like the eighties Fright Night (sacrilege, I know), but Chris Sarandon doesn’t do it for me after his role as Prince Humperdink, whereas Colin Farrell totally does it for me—and let’s face it, Farrell was born to play a vampire. So Charley suspects his neighbor, Jerry (Farrell), is a vampire, which of course he is. Charley seeks out the assistance of noted vampire killer Peter Vincent (played by the oh-so-hilarious David Tennant of Doctor Who fame), and they go hunting. This is traditional, modern horror, with good scream scenes, sex, and comedy. The comedy is just fabulous, because it can be horrible when modern vamp flicks take themselves too seriously. You’ll get a good laugh, but you’ll also be scared of the dark. What more could you want?
2. We Are the Night
I just found this one, and I can’t stop watching it. It’s a German film (again, gotta love those Europeans) about three vampire chicks in Berlin who have just welcomed a new member, Lena. In the world of We Are the Night, there are no male vampires (men are too showy, apparently), so women bond together and kill lots of human dudes. Lena happens to fall for one of said human dudes, and well, there’s lots of lesbian angst, carnage, and excellent techno music. This movie is sexy, dang it, with all the femme fatales running around. They make the undead lifestyle glamorous, and Lena’s hatred of her new existence is heavy and convincing. This is another one strong on character development with plenty of bloody death and a kick butt soundtrack. Thank you, Germany, thank you so much.
1. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Save the best for last. Ahhhhhhhh, I could live in this movie, not that I want Dracula running around, but it sure is a beautiful world created by director Francis Ford Coppola. This one follows the story of Dracula in all its gratuitous, gory splendor. It features an all-star cast (most notably Sir Anthony Hopkins as a fearless Van Helsing and Gary Oldman as Dracula). I can’t get over the imagery, music, or atmosphere of this film. Every scene is like something out of a nineteenth-century boudoir photo. The acting is impeccable (except for Keanu Reeves; he sucks), there’s plenty of T and A, and the scene in the crypt with the baby gives me oogie-boogies just thinking about it. <shiver> If you like vampire movies, this is a must-see. If you just like Gary Oldman, see it. If you like movies in general, must see. How else can I make you understand? Just watch this movie, will ya?!