5 Great Vampire Movies Post-‘Twilight’
I have never actually saw the Twilight movies. I don’t make it a habit bad-mouthing them (again, because I have never seen them). There seemed to be a feeling during their tenure near the top of the box-office that vampire aficionados were a bit concerned that the entire vamp subgenre was going to be smacked in the face. I’m simply here to tell you it wasn’t.
Byzantium is a Gothic family drama. It is about a mother-daughter duo: Clara and Eleanor (Gemma Aterton and Saroise Ronan, respectively), who unlock the secret to immortality. It, of course, involves drinking blood, as well as a trippy stay in a cave. It bounces back in forth between the olden days and the modern day. In the past, Clara was a prostitute that had to give up Eleanor since children weren’t allowed in the brothel. In the present, Clara is hard partying lady embracing the lowered consequences while Eleanor creeps out with this 1000 yard stare. The bond between the ladies is fantastic despite how different their characters are or what love interests get in the way.
4. What We Do in the Shadows
This New Zealand export is a found footage style flick about a documentary crew that follows around a group of vampire roommates. They are from very different eras and represent different types of vampires, from a modern day Lost Boy to a Dark Ages Nosferatu. From some of the minds behind the HBO show, “Flight of the Conchords,” they inject new life into the mockumentary, a subgenre I keep expecting to die off until something like this comes around and knocks it out of the park.3. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
This Iran-set vamp flick (in Farsi, so bring your reading glasses) follows 2 lonely people. One is a poor 20-something with a junkie father being victimized by local mobsters. The other is a blood-sucking creature of the night who plays vigilante on the streets of the fictional Bad City. After a particular wild night, the two strike up a very interesting bond. This flick is a real experiment in mood that takes dreamy landscapes, black-and-white color scheme, and a killer soundtrack to create a new noirish horror flick.
2. Stake Land
Maybe the first movie I saw after the Twilight craze “threatened” to change the vampire subgenre forever. Made by Jim Mickle, maybe my new favorite voice in horror movies, it stars his good buddy, Nick Damici, as the mysteriously cool vampire hunter, Mister, in a post-apocalyptic world overrun with vampires. He teams up with a young kid bouncing bartertown to bartertown trying to stay a step ahead of the zombie-like vampire hordes. It is a slow burn story with some great, understated character work.
1.Only Loves Left Alive
Only Lovers Left Alive was my favorite movie last year. It was mostly just a venue for filmmaker Jim Jarmusch to voice his eccentric opinions on a variety of music, but that definitely unlocks an interesting element about living forever, as vamps are wont to do. They look back on the days when they hung out with both Shakespeare and Tesla. They talk about Jack White with the same reverence that they talk about true classical pieces of music. And despite that fact that these new-age blood junkies look more like the burnt out band in some bad tour bus indie drama, Jarmusch twists profoundness with a really haunting overall mood to always leave you even the least bit creeped out.