They used to only be for Halloween but now, thanks to a sudden uproar in popularity, vampires are hip to the groove all year long… Conor Barry looks back to the films that made them so great in the first place.
1. Let The Right One In (2008)
A romance film about vampires that’s as far away from Twilight as possible [Thankfully! – Ed]. This is a mixture of pubescent romance, dark violence, and genuinely gripping drama. Well written, impressively performed by the young couple and, most importantly of all, can actually be quite freaky. Couldn’t be more recommended.
2. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
The best vampire film that’s only half a vampire film. Starting off as a slick crime thriller, it sharply diverges into an all out vampire killing gore-fest, their arsenal including holy water balloons, a cross made from a shotgun and, of course, the crotch-gun. As if that wasn’t enough, it was written by and co-stars Quentin Tarantino and is led by George frickin’ Clooney. Genius.
3. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
It would surely be sacrilege to go without mentioning good old Dracula. While The Drac has gone through some hideously farcical interpretations that bring shame to the name (we’re looking at you, Dracula: Dead and Loving it), Francis Ford Coppola keeps things serious. And with Gary Oldman as the titular bad guy, it may just be the coolest Dracula around.
4. Interview with a Vampire (1994)
Genuinely clever, the film follows a vampire telling his life story of the last 200 years. This one also comes from our very own Neil Jordan. Ours in that he’s both Irish and studied in UCD, though it is unlikely his English and Irish History degree helped much with this film. Then again, that’s Arts for you.
5. Twilight (2008)
The squeals of girly joy make it impossible to actually hear the film when watching in a cinema, but who needs to listen when you can just gawk at moody-yet-shiny Edward? Lack of emotion and personality is what the women want and Edward brings it by the bucketful.
6. Nosferatu (1922)
This is Dracula in all but title, a fact that almost resulted in the destruction of every print because of copyright infringement. It is the first vampire film and, in some respects, the best (though clearly not in all respects or it would ranking higher on the list). While it may seem a tad tame by today’s standards, the eerie mood and inventive camerawork mean that it is not only important in the horror genre but to cinema in general.
7. New Moon (2009)
It isn’t even out yet but how couldn’t it be amazing? Did you see the first one? More angsty vampires ahoy!
8. Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992)
Yes, there was a film before the show, and no, it’s not really any good. However, this did lead onto the television series that gave vampires actual personalities, as well as trendy clothes and funky names like ‘Spike’. In short, made vampires cool again.
9. 30 Days Of Night (2007)
While vampires are dangerous in theory, the fact that dodging them until sunlight is your best defence makes their attack pattern limited. Noticing this flaw, 30 Days of Night plunges Josh Hartnett into a month of nightfall purely so we can enjoy watching his misery of coping with hoards of the blood-suckers.
10. Blacula (1972)
Think Shaft meets Dracula. At the time, both horror and so-called ‘blaxploitation’ films were making big money, so the producers shoved the two together. A strangely popular cult classic, this is an interesting piece of vintage pop-culture that could only ever exist when it did.