Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Culture of Vampires

In my lifetime, I've seen vampires portrayed in many different lights—sexy, terrifying, humorous, and even...well...sparkly and often brooding. I've shamefully admitted that I fell for the whole Twilight thing, but in my defense it was the hopeless love story that pulled me in (I'm a sucker for those). The movies do bother me as I find them a bit campy, and not at all the way I like my vampires (think hissing on the baseball field in the first movie).

Because of Twilight and its sickening over-exposure/bad wrap, I haven't touched the vampire genre as an author. I have friends who have, however, and do extremely well despite the bad reputation that seems to have tarnished vamps as a species (check out Emma Meade and L. H. Cosway).

But there are some who make an appearance in my newest novel, Paranormal Keepers. Only mine won't be the kind you would fall in love with. My reasoning behind this is the slew of vampire movies I adore, all in which vampires are not of the romantic and sparkling variety. And that's just how I like them.

In the spirit of vampire awesomeness that does NOT include Twilight, I'm counting down my top ten favorite blood sucking movies:

#10 - Blade II

Okay, I'll admit, this one only made the list because Norman Reedus was in it. So sue me. Still, the vampires and special effects were pretty decent.

#9 - Van Helsing

I only saw this one once, but think they portrayed vampires with proper respect. Plus it's fun to watch Kate Beckinsale kick some ass.

#8 - Daybreakers

Creepy vampires combined with a rather original premise—in the future nearly everyone has turned into a vampire no thanks to some strange disease—made this a pretty good film. Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe are always entertaining to watch.

#7 - Bram Stoker's Dracula

This one was borderline campy, but I still enjoyed Winona Ryder and Gary Oldman's characters. The vampires were only mildly scary, though there were some oddly disturbing scenes.

#6 - I Am Legend

I have a love-hate relationship with this movie. Although Will Smith did a good job of pulling off most of what could be considered a one-man show, the ending was another one to leave me extremely frustrated. I did enjoy the crazy, methed-up vampires, although I didn't know what exactly he was dealing with until after I saw the movie and read reviews.

#5 - Let the Right One In

This story, although sick and pretty twisted, was also one of my favorite books. The movie wasn't quite as good (they almost never are), but still managed to keep the main points of the tale that made it so intriguing. And the vampire in this story was definitely creepy!

#4 - 30 Days of Night

This was one of those horror movies that really freaked the crap out of me, and made me hide under a blanket, but was so crazy good I couldn't stop watching. THIS is how vampires really should be—so damn creepy you wouldn't even CONSIDER even making out with one. I wasn't very happy with the ending, however, as it was one of the first to start the trend of really unhappy endings that leaves you unsatisfied.

#3 - Interview With a Vampire

I'm a sucker for pretty much anything involving Brad Pitt, but this movie was more than just a couple of pretty boys walking around in bad makeup. Though the vampires weren't really that terrifying, the story of little Kirsten Dunst's character and Brad Pitt's character's (non-creepy) love for her made the film. I've read many times that Brad was not proud of this film, and almost quit because it was so depressing to film, but it still remains one of my all-time favorites.

#2 - Lost Boys

I was in junior high when this came out, and actually fell in love because of Corey Haim, who was so dang cute in it. But the older I became, the more I loved the movie just for it's awesomeness (and Jason Patric, too). There's a bit of humor involved, but most of its just glamorous (for the '80s anyway), and fun.

#1 - Fright Night

This remake just came out in 2011, and I was hooked from the very first time I saw it. I'm a sucker for anything that can tastefully pull off both humor and horror in the same story, and this movie does it well. The vampire was hot, but disturbingly creepy (especially in the road scene), and I became a big fan of Anton Yelchin's acting. It still, however, remains the only movie in which I liked Collin Farrell. But it was so awesome that it beat out my reigning champion (Lost Boys) of over 20 years.


Sheena-kay Graham said...

Oh yes Fright Night is a great one. I'm a big Daybreakers fan, that film took vampire movies in a unique direction. Interview with the Vampire is a classic, hands down. Saw the American version Let Me In and loved it, so dark and sad yet...love (and friendship) lives. Blade rocks and shows why race can't be an excuse for so few black starring vampire movies. 30 Days of Night is fantastic horror, I love scary vampires! Great list Jen.

Anonymous said...

Aw, thanks for the mention. You're working on another novel? Seriously, Jen, where do you find the time? :) I loved 30 Days of Night for bringing back the monster vampire.

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