Vamping it up on Halloween!: Lex’s Movie Picks

Are you a fan of vampires in the cinema? I am! The concept of a timeless being who feeds off the blood of the living has long appealed to people.  Despite the hackneyed stories popping up occasionaly,  there are some still some very intriguing films being made in the vampire genre. Below are a few of my favorites from the last fifteen years (thus, there is no, say,  Nosferatu or The Hunger on this list).

Vampyr II, by Edvard Munch.1895-1905.
Vampyr II, by Edvard Munch. 1895-1905.

Shadow of the Vampire (2001)

If you are a fan of vampires and dark humor, then this film is for you! Revolving around the rumor that Max Schreck, the man who played Count Orlock in F. W. Murnau’s 1922 German Expressionist film Nosferatu, is actually a blood-sucking creature of the night.

shadowv

This acerbic and macabre movie staring Willem Dafoe as Schreck and John Malkovich as Murnau is a treat for those of us who like our horror movies a little on the funny side, too.

Night Watch (2004)/ Day Watch (2006)

Sometimes you want to watch a vampire movie. Sometimes you want to watch an action movie. Why not combine these genres? Well, here you go!

combo-poster

Night Watch and, subsequently, Day Watch, are Russian films based off of a series of novels  written by Sergei Lukyanenko. Secret factions exist to create a checks-and-balances system to keep the balance of Light and Darkness in order in the world of this urban fantasy. Of course, it can never be that simple: chaos ensues, testing the mettle of Anton, protagonist and member of the Night Watch throughout the series.

Let the Right One In (2008)

At the risk of seeming like a snob, I have to say that I prefer the Swedish version to the American version. I’ve also read the book, and, in this particular case, I am not certain the the book is a must-read for everyone, mostly due to its graphic, tragic and possibly triggering content. I am certainly glad I read John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel, as it gives further insight into the past of Eli, the vampire-child.

right-one

Even though it’s gruesome and heartbreaking at times, there is a sweetness mingled in the darkness in LtROI, with its young, innocent friendship and love amongst the themes of death, abuse and bullying.

Byzantium (2012)

Gemma Arterton and  Saoirse Ronan play an ageless mother-daughter duo on the run from a militant men’s-only club of bloodsuckers in this feminist-themed vampire flick.

byzquote

Even though the main characters are vampires, somehow that’s not really the true primary focus of the film. It’s really about the lives of Clara (Arterton) and Eleanor (Ronan), and exactly how they got into the predicament they’re currently in, and how it is that they manage to remedy it.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

This is a strange and beautiful film, and as much as I admire A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, I also find myself at a bit of a loss precisely how to describe it. It’s got a slow-paced, blatant art-house vibe to it, which might be a turn-off to some people right off the bat. It’s also in Persian, and subtitles aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, either.

girlwalks

It is, however, beautifully filmed, has a killer soundtrack, and there’s just something in the combined soulful loneliness of ‘The Girl’ (a.k.a. the vampire, played by Sheila Vand) and Arash (Arash Marandi) that really appeals to me and makes me want to think that everything will be okay by the end of the film.


Have you watched and enjoyed any of these vampire movies? Or do you, perhaps, have a secret gem you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comment section!

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