The Evolution of the Vampire Film

VAMPIRE FILM

Today’s guest post is from Almost Famous Kiwi.

Hi everyone, today I’m going to do a guest blog combining two things I love: film and vampires. In 2008 the world was subjected to a new torture device: the Twilight films. They took the vampire genre and ruined it. What were once things to be feared suddenly became sparkly, sappy stalkers and young girls and cougars went crazy for it. But I want to talk about film and vampires, two things the Twilight series knows nothing about. So today I thought we could take a look at the evolution of vampires in film.

Nosferatu 1922

A film by the legendary F.W Muranau shot in 1921. It is the unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. Nosferatu is a frightening vampire who could eat Edward Cullen for breakfast.

Dracula 1931

There are many Dracula films out there. This 1931 version is based on the stage play by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, which is based on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Never forget that Dracula “vants to suck your blood.”

The Lost Boys 1987

A classic 80s films starring Kiefer Sutherland as the leader of a gang of bikers/vampires. Jason Patrick and Corey Haim play two brothers who move to a small town in California that happens to be a hot spot for vampires. The film combines horror and comedy and shouldn’t be missed by any vampire lover.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer 1992

Before Sarah Michelle Gellar graced our screens as Buffy there was Kristy Swanson. This 90s film follows Buffy as she becomes the slayer and is pursued by the vampire Lothos. These are your classic vampires: can’t go out in the sun, can be staked through the heart, hate garlic, etc. The film is worth watching just to enjoy the excellent 90s fashion.

Interview with the Vampire 1994

This film is based on the book by Anne Rice, who is arguably one of the greatest writers of vampire literature. It stars Brad Pitt as a vampire with a conscience, and Tom Cruise as the enigmatic and deadly Lestat.

Blade 1998

At the end of the 20th century the vampire film started to change focus. What was once an enemy suddenly became a hero. In Blade Wesley Snipes plays a half-vampire half-mortal who kills vampires in order to protect humans. I had to put that picture in because let’s be honest, it would have made a much more interesting film.

Underworld 2003

Like Blade, Selene is a vampire who is also a hero. She is in the middle of a war between vampires and werewolves and happens to fall in love with Michael, a lycan. Vampires tend to be dominated by men so it’s nice to see a film that looks at it from a female perspective.

30 Days of Night 2007

The vampires in this film freaked me out. They were a whole new species. They have their own language and are much more predatory than the vampires I’ve seen in earlier films. The story follows a small Alaskan town that is plunged into darkness for 30 days each year and a gang of vampires arrives.

I Am Legend 2007

What happens when you cross a zombie with a vampire? You get the monsters from I Am Legend. I really enjoyed this film for it’s subtly. The vampire/monsters are pretty horrific. They are not sired like most vampires are in film, rather they are the result of a virus, thus making them part zombie.

Let the Right One In 2008

This is a Norwegian film that was remade in 2010 by the US (Let Me In). The film follows a young boy who is bullied. He meets a young girl who happens to be a vampire and she allows him the revenge he seeks. I think it’s interesting to look at the vampire genre through the eyes of a child, it certainly adds to the horror of it all.

Fright Night 2011

This is a remake of the 1985 film. It follows Charley who suspects that his neighbour is a vampire. Colin Farrell stars as Jerry, the vampire. It’s a classic story of mortal vs. immortal.

So there you have it, a brief history in the evolution of the vampire film. There are many more out there, and many more to come. It seems that the vampire film genre is as immortal as the vampires themselves. As you can see from 1922 to today vampires are things to be feared. They feed on blood, we are full of it. So if you happen to come across a sparkly vamp giving you googly eyes outside your bedroom then give Blade a call. He knows what to do.

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  • Oooh I find this fascinating. And honestly I haven’t heard of many of these! Thanks so much AFK, what a great post!