From Gothic Princes to Vampire Vegetarians – Movies.ie charts the evolution of the vampire on the big-screen.
So another Halloween has come and gone. Over the weekend amongst seeing all the 7,437 people dressed up as the Joker on Friday night, Saturday was horror movie night for the Movies.ie gang. The schedule was as follows…30 Days of Night ,Cronos, The Devils Backbone and 28 Days Later . Despite all the hours of blood, guts and scares the main horror highlight of the weekend was not a film but a book:
Let the Right One In is the story of a young 12 year old boy named Oskar who gets bullied at school, has no friends and wets himself when he gets nervous. He eventually befriends a 200 year old vampire name Eli….but things get messy. The book is a terrific brimming with themes of romance, horror, adolescence and biting social commentary. Like most great reads it has already been made for the big screen with the movie set for release later this year. If the film delivers on half of the books potential then we as an audience are in for a treat. From the evidence of the trailer below and early word of mouth around the film festival circuit it seems that this film is set to deliver big time. Just check out it’s rating on imdb so far and for further proof of its potential, they have already green lit the U.S remake before the original has even been released ( Matt Reeves of Cloverfield is directing) .
Without giving too much of the plot away, suffice to say the story injects fresh blood in to the vampire genre (excuse the pun!) After finishing the book it got us to thinking about the classical vampire mythology and the changes it has gone through following recent releases and how it will be changed further by upcoming films
We all know that the subject of vampires has been a fertile area for filmmakers since the beginning of silent films. Dracula alone has over 160 film representations!! Horror films have always appealed to filmgoers because as a genre it constantly has to re-evaluate and change to scare new generations of film fans. Much like the zombie genre, vampire films has always proved to a popular choice with audiences and film makers alike and has been subject to frequent change. Just look at some of the releases of the last 10 years alone as a sign of how much the vampire has changed. Blade, Shadow of the Vampire, Queen of the Damned, Underworld, Night Watch , 30 Days of Night and I am Legend… (although the latter may have refused to use the V word!)
Despite the clear flaws in the 30 Days of Night (hello time space!!) the fact is the film gave vampires flicks back their bite. The frilly shirts, gothic decadence and romantic overtones were replaced in favour of violent throat ripping blood lust. One of the nice touches added was the language they spoke to communicate with each other again another example of how the vampire is evolving.
Arguably one of the biggest changes to the vampire film will be seen in film adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight. I have to be honest the idea of vegetarian vampires sounds highly silly to me but the worldwide popularity of Meyer’s books chronicling the Cullen family must show that this series must have something special and like most of you I am excited to see what this film has in store. It seems however thought that things have come full circle. It seems that there are plans to re-imagine a film which already re-imagined the vampire mythology (I know my head hurts also!) in Near Dark…why oh why the original is still a classic!. Other films worth mentioning include James Cordon, of Gavin and Stacey fame, trying to do for vampires what Shaun of the Dead did for zombies by fusing horror and comedy in his big screen debut Lesbian Vampire Killers. Cult nintendo game Castlevania is destined to be the next atrocious game to movie adaptation while Cirque du Freak sees a welcome return to the vampire genre for Willem Dafoe.
So what do you think readers. Are you happy with the recent changes in the movie vampire? Any favourite vampire films out there? We want to know!