Horror Movies for Halloween: Vampires

March 20, 2018 11:15 pm39 commentsViews: 576

With autumn setting in and Halloween creeping closer, there’s nothing like an evening at home with snacks, drinks, good movies, and good company! Themed movie nights are the perfect way to celebrate Halloween’s swift and spooky approach.

There seems to be an infinite number of vampire movies out there, especially with the recent surge of mass-produced vampires in films like Twilight and television shows like True Blood. Just as there is a huge amount of vampire films to sift through, so there is a huge variety in how vampires are portrayed on film. Here are six quality vampire movies that demonstrate the different sides of your favourite fanged fiends – a perfect combination for a vampire themed Halloween movie night.

Nosferatu (1922) and Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

You cannot call yourself a vampire movie fan until you’ve seen F.W. Murnau’s silent cinematic masterpiece. Starring the magnificent Max Schreck as Count Orlok, Nosferatu follows newlyweds Hutter (Gustav Von Wagenheim) and Ellen (Greta Schroeder) to Transylvania, where Hutter is sent to assist Orlok with his real estate needs. After he is bitten and hospitalized, it’s up to Ellen to put an end to the horror she and her husband have found themselves enveloped in.

Shadow of the Vampire is an excellent film that tells the story of the making of Nosferatu. Starring John Malkovich as F.W. Murnau and Willem Dafoe as Max Schreck, this fictional documentary turns very frightening when Murnau’s leading man starts taking his role as a vampire a little too seriously. Shadow of the Vampire is so well done that it will have you questioning whether vampires really do exist.

Dracula (1931)

This is the portrayal of Dracula that started most of the movie traditions surrounding the character, right down to the count’s signature accent, which was actually leading man Bela Lugosi’s natural accent. It also introduced the character of Dr. Van Helsing, who has since become the star of his own films. Dracula is another absolute must-see for any vampire film fan.

Interview with the Vampire (1994)

Based on the novel by Anne Rice and directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Breakfast on Pluto, Ondine), Interview with the Vampire is a visually stunning film with a rich storyline. The movie is centred on two vampires: Louis (Brad Pitt), a reluctant vampire who doesn’t like killing humans for their blood, and Lestat (Tom Cruise), the vampire who turned him. Other cast members include Christian Slater, Thandie Newton, and a young Kirsten Dunst as Louis and Lestat’s ancient companion trapped in a child’s body.

Interview with the Vampire is a more traditional vampire film, and it if well worth watching. It stays true to the classic themes of vampirism: eternal life and love, endless loneliness, and insatiable hunger.

The Lost Boys (1987)

A film with an extremely devoted cult following, The Lost Boys is equal parts vampire film and coming-of-age classic. Brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) move to a new town on the Californian coast with their mother (Dianne Wiest). They instantly notice that the town is a bit different, and soon they are convinced that it is inhabited by vampires.

While Sam goes off and befriends the Frog brothers (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander), who are self-proclaimed vampire hunters, Michael gets mixed up with a gang of bikers, fronted by David (Kiefer Sutherland). He starts to sleep all day and party all night, and Sam starts to worry about what’s happened to his older brother.

The Lost Boys is the quintessential 1980s vampire movie, complete with that perfect 1980s aesthetic and a brilliant soundtrack. You’ll want to watch it again and again.

Daybreakers (2009)

Although Daybreakers was not a box-office hit when it was released, it deserves a place in your vampire movie night for its fantastically entertaining one-liners and its originality. Daybreakers is one of the few recent films to put a different spin on the vampire story. It is 2019 and a plague has caused 95% of the world’s population to become vampires, but now they are facing a severe shortage of blood. Dr. Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke), a vampire haematologist, is trying desperately to find a way to develop artificial human blood, but along the way he makes other important discoveries.

Written and directed by Michael and Peter Spierig, Daybreakers also stars Willem Dafoe (who provides brilliant comedy to the film) and Sam Neill. It’s a fun ride all the way through and it will give you a new perspective on vampires.

Other vampire films you may want to check out include Fright Night (1985), Night Watch (2004), Day Watch (2006), and Let the Right One In (2008).

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