Vampires, vampires, vampires!
We can’t seem to get away from them these days. I’m fully expecting at least one of my nieces to be asking for Vampire Barbie’s Ice Scream Shoppe this Christmas. For me, a movie or TV show is first and foremost about the story and it seems that every last idea is being squeezed out of the vampire theme right now.
I don’t hate the vampire mythos and, in fact, entertainers have created a few gems in this genre. Nosferatu is still the scariest and best realized vampire from a creature design standpoint. I liked The Lost Boys but, before you grab me by the neck, understand that I knew very little about the movie before seeing it and went in with extremely low expectations. Who could forget Vincent? Certainly a high point in Mr. Freeman’s career. I’m sure there are many more I could talk about but for me the story just seems played out.
That said, you might be surprised that I have two vampire movies to tentatively recommend. Neither tread the familiar vampire path.
The first is Let the Right one In. This movie is incredibly hard to describe. Some would call it dull and plodding while others would say deliberate and paced. Some would say moody and haunting others would say weird and low-key. The thing I liked best about this movie was the tone that it set. Besides conveying the feelings of a lonely child, it was intentionally uncomfortable and, well, foreign, which makes sense because it is a Swedish film. If you are someone who typically likes foreign films, I’d recommend this movie. If not, you may want to wait for the American remake.
Daybreakers uses vampirism almost as an excuse to sell tickets. This movie is really a sci-fi pandemic flick. I liked the idea of the gimmick enough that when Rotten Tomatoes gave it a (barely) fresh tomato, I thought I’d give it a try. It went on the movies-to-rent list but was always near the bottom and then drifted away. I happened upon it on our public library’s website sometime later and decided it was worth a shot for free. This movie was almost clever enough to be quite good. I didn’t feel cheated when it was over but I wouldn’t watch it again. If they had just written for a smarter audience… Being two steps ahead of the story is almost never very interesting. If you are looking for a basic action flick with a clever plot idea, give this a try.