From F W Murnau’s Nosferatu and Bela Lugosi as Dracula in 1931 vampires have been a popular theme in many films. Over the years, the portrayal of vampires has evolved and with the conclusion of the Twilight Saga this year some fans of the films may think that these are the epitome of vampire films. However, there are a few films that came before the whole Team Edward/Team Jacob frenzy that are a lot better. Here are my top 5 vampire films.
Chris Sarandon plays the creepy vampire next door, Jerry Dandridge, in this 1985 horror, which in retrospect is not nearly as scary as I thought it was as a child. Not necessarily a serious vampire film, Fright Night is a lot of fun and has great eighties special effects, as well as a little comic relief from Peter Vincent played by Roddy McDowall.
The 80s had some great vampire films including Tony Scott’s The Hunger and Near Dark. However, The Lost Boys was the stand out film and was a who’s who of eighties teen heartthrobs. Corey Haim and Jason Patric star as brothers who move to a new town where there are a high number of mysterious disappearances, and Kiefer Sutherland stars as the mysterious leader of the local gang. Like Fright Night, The Lost Boys is not a serious vampire film but that does not take away from it being one of the most enjoyable that you can watch time and time again.
This 2008 Swedish film was a critical and commercial success depicting the vampire mythology from a different point of view. It tells the story of a 12 year old boy called Oskar who befriends a young girl called Eli who has a dark secret. Although we are familiar with vampires as villains, we sympathise with Eli and become invested in the bond she forms with Oskar.
The award for the coolest vampire on the list goes to Blade. Whether it is down to the writing or Wesley Snipes’s inherent coolness, Blade is a half-vampire who makes it his mission to rid the world of every bloodsucker he can find without breaking a sweat. With his handy sidekick called Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) and a cocky, power hungry foe played by Stephen Dorff, Blade is a thrilling and gory film that helped kick-start a new breed of vampire films into the new millennium.
As far as epic vampire films go, the 90s gave us Francis Fords Coppola’s Dracula which was a little over the top for me, whereas Interview with the Vampire was more to my taste. Neil Jordan’s adaptation of an Anne Rice novel spans two centuries depicting the life of Louis (Brad Pitt) a vampire who was sired by a lonely Lestat (Tom Cruise). Interview with the Vampire is a stylish tale of loyalty and love with strategically placed scary moments that will definitely make the most hardcore horror fans jump.