CASKETS AND COFFINS – THE MANY FACES OF HORROR – PART 2: VAMPIRISM


In Case You Missed it – Check Out Part 1 – CASKETS AND COFFINS – THE MANY FACES OF HORROR – PART 1: MONSTERS

VAMPIRES

Vampire films have been a an integral ingredient for horror films since the dawn of silent cinema. As folklore vampires are defined in their need to feed on blood and on their manipulative nature; a theme held common through countless adaptations. The depiction of Vampires in popular culture is strongly based upon their depiction in films throughout the years. The most popular cinematic adaptation of vampire fiction has been from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with over 170 versions to date. As of today, Dracula has been the subject of more films than any other fictional character and Vampires are amongst the most iconic and beloved horror movie baddies!

Here are 3 Examples of Great Vampire Movies:

DRACULA

DRACULA(1931)
Directed by: Tod Browning
Produced by: Tod Browning, Carl Laemmle, Jr.
Screenplay by: Garrett Fort
Based on Dracula by Bram Stoker
Starring: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler
David Manners, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan
Released: February 14, 1931
 
Synopsis from IMDB:

After a harrowing ride through the Carpathian mountains of Transilvania in eastern Europe, real estate agent Renfield enters castle Dracula to finalize the transferral of Carfax Abbey in London to Count Dracula, who is in actuality a vampire. Renfield is drugged by the eerily hypnotic count, and turned into one of his thralls, protecting him during his sea voyage to London. After sucking the blood and turning the young Lucy Weston into a vampire, Dracula turns his attention to her friend Mina Seward, daughter of Dr. Seward who then calls in a specialist, Dr. Van Helsing, to diagnose the sudden deterioration of Mina’s health. Van Helsing, realizing that Dracula is indeed a vampire, tries to prepare Mina’s fiance, John Harker, and Dr. Seward for what is to come and the measures that will have to be taken to prevent Mina from becoming one of the undead.

This film is the classic benchmark from which all other horror movies have sprung forth. Although incredibly tame by today’s standards of Horror and Frights, Dracula still remains one of the most revered and identifiable players in the horror movie universe.
 
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Trailer:

 
 
NEAR DARK

NEAR DARK(1987)
Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
Produced by: Steven-Charles Jaffe
Written by: Eric Red, Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright
Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein, Bill Paxton
Released: October 2, 1987
 
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes

In Kathryn Bigelow’s tale of vampires in the American Southwest, the creatures of the night aren’t elegant, cloaked aristocrats. They’re a gun-toting gang that dresses and acts like a motorcycle gang. Caleb (Adrian Pasdar), a restless young man from a small farm town, meets an alluring drifter named Mae (Jenny Wright). She reveals herself to be a vampire, who “turns” Caleb into one of her kind rather than kill him. But the rest of her “family” is slow to accept the newcomer. The ancient leader, Jesse (Lance Henriksen), and his psychotic henchman Severen (Bill Paxton) lay down the law; Caleb has to carry his own weight or die. However, he can’t bring himself to kill. He manages to win the gang’s approval when he rescues them from certain death in a daytime gunfight during a spectacular motel shoot-out in which every bullet hole lets in a deadly ray of sunlight. When the vampires threaten Caleb’s real family, he’s forced to choose between life and death. The film avoids the complex vampire mythology of such films as Interview with the Vampire. Instead, it emphasizes the intense, seductive bond that forms between Caleb and the violent but tightly knit gang.
 

Trailer:

 
 

LET ME IN

LET ME IN(2010)
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Produced by: Donna Gigliotti, Alex Brunner
Simon Oakes, Tobin Armbrust, Guy East, John Nordling
Carl Molinder, Nigel Sinclair
Screenplay by: Matt Reeves
Story by: David Callaham
Based on Screenplay and novel Let the Right One In
by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloë Grace Moretz
Elias Koteas, Richard Jenkins
Released: October 1, 2010
 
Synopsis from Entertainment Weekly:

In one of the most spectacularly disquieting sequences of Let Me In, Richard Jenkins commits a gruesome murder in a car. As the saddened blood-hunter and ostensible guardian (but really slave) of 12-year-old vampire Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz), he strangles the driver while a cheesy rock song blares, and the car then tumbles (in an unbroken POV shot) into a ditch. The scene has a sickening power, yet the surprise of Let Me In is that director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) hasn’t just remade the Swedish cult vampire film Let the Right One In (2008) into a more fluid and visceral movie. He’s made it more dangerous.
Let Me In invites us to sympathize more directly with Jenkins’ ambiguous overseer (even though it suggests, as the first film didn’t dare, a far creepier side to his bond with the vampire). And this, in turn, makes Abby a much more ironic savior when she befriends Owen, the sensitive boy in her apartment complex who’s become a punching bag at school. As Owen, Kodi Smit-McPhee is so delicate he’s like a princeling newborn, yet he’s a forceful actor. Moretz curls her lips with macabre domination, and Reeves makes her shockingly fast —a herky-jerky demon —in the bloodsucker scenes. The story is still awfully languid, but Let Me In has greater potency than Let the Right One In, because it’s about a ”redemptive” love so haunted you’re never sure if it can lead to anything but more evil.
 
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Trailer:

In Case You Missed it – Check Out Part 1 – CASKETS AND COFFINS – THE MANY FACES OF HORROR – PART 1: MONSTERS
CASKETS AND COFFINS – THE MANY FACES OF HORROR – PART 3: WEREWOLVES and ANTHROMORPHS!

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