By Sheroog Kubur, August 29 2023—
The recent Twilight renaissance brought the love of vampires back into the public eye. However, there’s a world of vampire movies out there that don’t involve glittering teenagers and supernatural turf wars but still feature the bloodsucking neckbiters that we love to see.
Interview with a Vampire (1994)
Whether you love her or hate her, Anne Rice has made her mark in the world of vampire fiction and Interview with a Vampire is the story that started it all. Originally published in 1976, this story is an interview between the unnamed vampire, who audiences later learn to be Louis de Pointe du Lac (Brad Pitt), and reporter Daniel Molley (Christian Slater). Alongside having a stellar cast, including 90s icons like Pitt and Tom Cruise, the film is a wild goose chase at best and a hodgepodge of bizarre moments at its worst. Luckily, there was a sequel, Queen of the Damned, and a recent revival into a TV series, so if you’re looking for a plethora of vampire stories this is the place to start.
The Invitation (2022)
The vampire movie that nobody knew was a vampire movie, The Invitation is based on the tale of Dracula. It follows Evie Jackson, a young New Yorker invited to her long-lost family’s estate after taking a DNA test. Things take a turn for the worst when she realizes that this isn’t a typical family, but instead, a group of cultish vampires planning on finding a new bride for the famed Dracula. The film touches on the dynamics of race, class and gender while feeling like a horror movie from back in the golden days of B-movie horror. It also features a good-for-her ending that female rage enthusiasts would be able to sink their teeth into.
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
Only Lovers Left Alive is the sardonic take on immortality that most vampire stories seem to be missing. One of the two lovers, played by Tom Hiddleston, is a jaded musician in dire need of a reason to wake up each morning and the other, played by Tilda Swinston, doesn’t want to see her lover go. The film is surprisingly funny, bringing offbeat humour to an otherwise beautiful tale of a love that can never truly end. The vampire part comes in with their desire to only drink blood that hasn’t been tainted by the horrors of the modern world, despite routinely engaging in very modern activities and surrounding themselves with countless allusions to modern media. It’s graphic, it’s poetic and it’s dramatic — something you can only expect from vampires.
The Lost Boys (1987)
People are strange in the fictional town of Santa Carla, where Sam and Michael Emerson have recently moved. The brothers fall into the world of vampires, and one eventually almost becomes one himself, after meeting a slew of vampires and vampire hunters. The film turns this underworld into a gang, with the two brothers trying their best to impress the head honcho in charge until they realize what he truly is. Complete with a gloriously 80s fight scene between the vampires and vampire hunters, The Lost Boys is a vampire movie that’s good fun above all else. It also includes a killer soundtrack, with tracks from Echo & the Bunnymen and INXS for those looking for a new soundtrack to their life.
Honourable mentions: My Babysitter’s a Vampire (2010) and Morbius (2022)