Halloween is nearly upon us and is a great time to watch all kinds of horror movies. As I was planning that very post so many were Vampire films. Which deserve their own list. So, voila! 5 Great Vampire Movies. They are all great in their own ways and are all linked my a similar theme.
One of my all-time favourite films, Nosferatu was ahead of it’s time and still great to watch nearly 100 years later. Max Schreck’s (Count Orlok) performance and makeup are incredible. As well as the props and cinematography. Every time I watch it I’m engrossed by the filmmaking and Shreck’s performance.
Murnau wasn’t able to get Bram Stoker’s widow to sell him the film rights so he made a few changes to be able to make it. Not that many really when you watch it. Most if not all Vampire films and stories have some link or inspiration derived from Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel (1897).
Starring; Max Schreck, Greta Schroder and Gustav von Wangenheim.
Directed by F.W.Murnau
Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
A fictional telling of the filming of Nosferatu, it seems based on stories told about the mysterious Max Schreck. It has a great cast and uses some of the Nosferatu footage to enhance the 20’s mise-en-scene. I think Eddie Izzard plays a brilliant Gustav von Wagenheim, who was Murnau’s thirst choice to play Hutter.
I don’t want to give too much away. So, I’ll just say to check out the trailer below.
Starring; John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Eddie Izzard, Udo Kier, Cary Elwes and Catherine McCormack.
Directed by E.Elias Merhige.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
This is the closest to the book that I’ve seen so far. Filmed on set rather than location it has a fantasy-like feel and gave the production the ability to use stage design and lighting to create fantastical effects. Rather than relying on post-production. With an all-star cast, Gary Oldman is incredible as Dracula. In all his forms.
Keanu Reeves’ performance as Harker is not my favourite, but the rest of the film is so good that I look past it. This was a long time ago and he is a different actor now. Reeves later stated that he was exhausted from constantly working before signing up to play Harker and lacking energy had nothing left to give. Coppola said that he need a young, hot star to get the girls interested in the movie when it was released.
A lot of adaptations miss out a lot of the book, but this cleverly includes a lot of details whilst bringing something new to the table, or the screen.
Starring; Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, Anthony Hopkins, Cary Elwes, Richard E. Grant and Sadie Frost.
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Vampire Louis (Brad Pitt) tells his life story to journalist Malloy (Christian Slater). Travelling through the years it focuses on Louis’ complicated relationship with his creator Lestat (Tom Cruise).
The production looks expensive and the performances are great. This is not a typical bloody horror, but more of a life-story with vampires in it.
Starring; Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst, Stephen Rea, Antonio Banderas and Christian Slater.
Directed by Neil Jordan.
Directed by the same man who directed Interview with the Vampire (1994), Byzantium is fantastically modern vampire story with two strong women trying to survive at its core. There is no Count Dracula but there is lots of drama.
This is unlike any of the other films on this list and although very dark, it’s a great watch from start to finish.
Starring; Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley and Johnny Lee Miller.
Directed by Neil Jordan.
What are your favourite Vampire films? Have you seen any of the films mentioned? What did you think of them?
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