We are getting close to Halloween and it’s time for monsters to come out from under the bed and out of the closet. During this time of year, there seems to be a plethora of new movies hoping to make grown men cry and women running for the door. So I thought it appropriate to revisit some of my favorite horror movies, starting with the flavour of the day : vampires!
5. Fright night (1985) I love the premise of this movie : a boy, discovering that his new next door neighbour is a vampire, tries to convince his friends and a washed up movie personality to help him kill this perky parasite. This looks and feels like an ’80s movie, but no one can deny that the cast is inspired, especially Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent, Vampire Killer and Stephen Geoffreys as Evil Ed. Plus, the special effects at the climax of the movie are fantastic.
4. Salem’s Lot (1979) This TV adaptation of Stephen King’s novel scared the bejesus out of me. From James Mason’s chilling portrayal as the vampire’s servant (his proper English demeanor doesn’t quite hide the fact that he could just as well rip your heart out than sell you antique furniture) to Barlow, the vampire (obviously inspired by F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu), the director and cast have created a truly macabre atmosphere.
3. Bram Stocker’s Dracula There’s no denying that some of the performances in this faithful adaptation of Bram Stocker’s novel are as wooden as the stakes used to battle these creatures of the night. But there’s also no denying that Gary Oldman’s inspired performance as the count, the exquisite sets and the awe inspiring special effects more than make up for Keanu Reeves’ awful English accent. All in all, a rendition of this classic story that will reward multiple viewings.
2. Cronos One thing I look for in stories is originality. Even in genres that have been done to death, the plot doesn’t need to be a retread of every version that came before it. So imagine the joy I felt when I discovered this gem . The writer/director, Guillermo del Toro, avoids all clichés you would expect from fares of this genre to bring us a poetic and dramatic film that, at it’s core, revolves around the touching relationship between an old antiquarian and his granddaughter.
1. Near dark This is basically Romeo and Juliet with vampires. A great big dysfunctional “family” of vampires. A truly screwed up, party till you drop dead, take no sh*t from no one group of vampires. Get my drift? This cult favorite has a great ensemble cast that seem to embrace their roles to horrific and gory effect.
Honorable mentions : Habit, Let me in, Let the right one in, Nosferatu (1922), Nosferatu : Phantom der Nacht, Shadow of the vampire, , the Hunger, Vampyr.
Please check out these great vampire movies, preferably by yourself, at night, and in the dark (I dare you; I double dare you).
P.S. : For more scares, check out my Top 5 Monster movies.