Ten Days Of Horror Films – Day #1: Vampires
Please note: Ten Days Of Horror Films is compiled into ten separate lists which identify individual genres of horror with each day in the list containing three movies: my favourite movie from that specific genre, an honourable mention, and a big ol’ loser.
Happy October 21st! Let’s ease into this Horror Moviefest with movies based around one of the most popular super-natural beings: vampires. I watch a lot of horror movies and I feel like even someone who says they don’t like the horror genre will have seen at least one movie based around vampires. They always make vampires seem so non-threatening when really they’re the equivalent of the spawn of a Siren and a Grizzly Bear. Sure, they may look cute and lure you in with their silly display as they take a roll in the grass, but get close enough and it’s throat ripping time. So if you’re in the mood for something a little scary but you have a friend who claims they don’t like horror movies, pop one of these recommendations in and have a ghoulish evening.
How much of a ripoff is it that I have two favourites? But I love them for different reasons! Now I know how bigamists feel …except not really.
The Lost Boys
There’s nothing I can say to win you over if that trailer didn’t do it for you. There’s a greased up dude playing the hell out of a saxophone within the first five seconds of that trailer….aren’t you the least bit intrigued by that? The thing this movie pulls off really well is shattering the whole “sexy vampire” angle. You are introduced to these vampires that seem to have it all: good looks, mystical powers, youth and immortality. But then the veil of romanticism gets torn to shreds during a super horrific campfire scene. If you still think you can date a vampire who will write you poetry and bring you breakfast in bed, may I recommend you re-watch that scene and analyze your priorities in a romantic partner? This movie is slightly campy but has enough humour and terrifying action to make it a well rounded vampire movie that appeals to the masses.
30 Days Of Night
Look at that thumbnail. Imagine that as the last face you see before you die; then imagine that face mauling your neck and throat, literally sucking the life from you. I rarely feel empathy for the protagonist in a horror movie where the antagonists are beings that do not exist in reality, but I vividly remember seeing one of the vampire attack scenes in this movie and feeling tight in the tummy. I love when a movie is based on a graphic novel and you can feel exactly which shots are based directly off of a panel in the novel. When you directly rip the vivid, mood-building art from a book onto the movie set and add some seriously creepy character design, you have one terrifying film suitable for those who are “intermediate” horror watchers.
Here’s a movie I’d never even heard of before I saw it on Netflix. I almost shut this one off about 20 minutes in, but I’m glad I persevered. The first act has all the signs of a bad horror movie: no-name actors, cliché college-aged characters and a small town trope. Just when you’re about to lose interest, the action starts and it moves quickly. Though the plot is very “meh” and you can tell that this movie isn’t high-budget, the merciless vampire attacks and “middle of nowhere” location do a pretty decent job of building tension and genuine fear. This film lands right between mediocre and good for me (I was entirely surprised that it wasn’t a total write-off), but it’s definitely a good watch for when you have a group of friends over and can busy yourself in conversation until some action kicks in.
Queen Of The Damned
If the people behind this movie were only attempting to make an extended Korn video that encapsulated everything “new millennium”, then they did an amazing job. However as a horror film, this is a GIGANTIC stinker. It’s everything that was super popular in 2002 rolled into a movie: Jonathan Davis provides the singing voice of Lestat, Aaliyah is a main character, vinyl clothing is mainstream and of course the whole premise is infused with the optimistic notion of being young forever (I bet that tribal sun tattoo around your belly button doesn’t seem like such a great idea anymore, does it?). The only horrifying moment in this whole movie is the concert scene where Lestat (the same Lestat played by Tom Cruise in Interview With The Vampire – let that sink in) performs with his band.
Shudder. I can’t even get through that whole clip; it’s unbearable. If you’re looking for a genuine scare, watch any of the other movies I mentioned above. If you’re a sucker for punishment and love feeling awkward, this movie is perfect for you.
Now that I’ve revealed my notable vampire movies, I want to know what are some that you love or hate? I’d love to hear what everyone else is into, so feel free to leave me some comments. We have only nine more days of movies to go so I hope you’ll join me tomorrow for some more spooky fun!