Nine Modern Vampire Movies that don’t suck (ridiculous pun intended)
Today vampires are more popular than ever.Like many horror archetypes
they provide an easy storytelling device that allows writers to veil their true message.Because
of this, vampire movies, TV and books run the gamut between brilliantly inspired tales and schlocky, derivative
drivel.The vampire story is an easy one to tell but a hard one to tell well.Many great (or really good) vampire stories often find themselves flying quickly off the rails,
hurtling into the realm of silliness. But for all the watered down (and often goofy) bloodsucker stories
that are beamed across today’s airwaves, there are a few modern day classics that keep those with darker and
more serious sensibilities sated.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Possibly the most flawed entry on this list, Francis Ford Coppola’s take on the king of
all bloodsuckers is extremely ambitious and has moments of pure magic.Coppola uses many old-school visual
tricks and combines them with touches of CGI to put together a visual feast that almost makes up for Keanu Reeves’ wooden
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Many Anne Rice fans are still smarting from the casting
choices in Neil Jordan’s adaptation of the vampire classic, but from a cinematic perspective Interview delivers
in spades, with strong performances by all involved and masterful direction by Jordan.
Fright Night (1985)
Though slightly dated, Tom Holland’s horror-comedy still holds
up quite well because it never panders to the audience in search of cheap laughs.In fact, at times the
film is quite heavy in its exploration of obsession, love, celebrity and the true nature of courage.
Blade II (2002)
This movie has appeared on two other lists on this site (check them
out here and here) so there’s not much more to be said.Del Toro does a brilliant job of blending action with the
vampire mythology, adding a few cool wrinkles in the process.
30 Days of Night (2007)
Another entry that has appeared on another one of our lists (check
it out here), 30 Days of Night offers a fresh take on the modern vampire, jettisoning any humanity that they may have once had and portraying
them as pure predators.
Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
This creepy retelling of the filming of Nosferatu-Eine
Symphonie des Grauens boasts a superb performance by Willem Dafoe as Max Schreck, the actor who plays Count Orlock (loosely
based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula).But as the cast and crew soon discover, Schreck may be more than
just a method actor and F.W. Murnau’s maniacal insistence on creating the perfect vampire movie leads all of them down
a dark, mysterious path.
Near Dark (1987)
Gritty, unrelenting, and at times a little too realistic, Kathryn
Bigelow’s vampire tale blends elements of horror and westerns with good ol’ family values.The
result is a wonderfully bleak portrayal of vampires who live on the other side of the tracks- more feral and dangerous than
their pouty, weepy, aristocratic cousins.
Based on a novel by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist,
this movie became an instant genre classic upon its release.Haunting and unflinching, the movie is a rich
tapestry of genre conventions brilliantly infused with the isolation and loneliness of the two main characters. The
filmmakers also wisely use practical effects and simple cinematic techniques to create the cold, dark world of mystery and
murder that Eli and Oskar find themselves in.
Made by South Korean director Chan wook-Park, Thirst has quickly developed
a strong following among vampire lovers.Like Let the Right One In, it offers an unflinching look at vampirism,
and explores faith, power, sexuality, love and madness in a dark, twisted and often funny cinematic tour de force.The performances are earnest, the story is layered and compelling and the movie tackles issues with a maturity and
honesty not found in many American horror films.
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Submitted by: Ramey Nugent
I have to say you are gonna be known as "Wendell the Hammer" because you are
hitting the nail right on the head!!! Good, no, GREAT List!