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Posts Tagged ‘The Lost Boys’

We are in an interesting period in the movie calendar:  The awards bait movies have been and gone, the blockbusters are waiting in the wings, amongst the dregs there are often a few gems, there certainly has been this month:

The Rhythm Section: As a big fan of Mark Burnell source novel this movie had a lot to live up to, it sadly fails. The story has been simplified from the novel loosing the nuance and a lot of the meaning.  On a positive note, Blake Lively is very good.The Rhythm Section

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn): Suicide Squad (2016) was a horrible mess of a movie, but it had one thing going for it, Margot Robbie was excellent as Harley Quinn.  Birds of Prey understands this and has Harley front and centre, not to take away from the supporting cast are also excellent.  It is fun and funny, simply everything a film like this needs to be, and everything that Suicide Squad wasn’t.  Also surprisingly violent, properly violent, not just comic book violent.   Its a shame it isn’t finding more of an audience.Birds of Prey

Underwater: Disater/Sci-fi movie set seven miles under the sea at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.  Aside from being unoriginal, and very predictable, there is nothing actually wrong with the movie, it just never really gets going, and is all just very average.  Kristen Stewart is very good though.Underwater

The Lighthouse: Robert Eggers follow-up to The Witch is just as intense, but even more bold and visceral.  It isn’t always clear what is going on leaving a lot of the film open to interpretation, the film is all the better for this.  Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are both excellent.The Lighthouse

The Lost Boys: Re-mastered version of the classic 80’s teen horror.  As fun and funny as ever. Great to see it on the big screen.The Lost Boys

Dark Waters:  A legal drama based on a true story is a departure from the expected for Todd Haynes. There is a constant sense of dread, this combined with a lack time is spent in courtrooms makes it feel more like a conspiracy thriller.  Mark Ruffalo is utterly brilliant in the lead; Anne Hathaway isn’t given much to do in a much smaller supporting role, but has a few great moments.Dark Waters

Little Joe: Director Jessica Hausner’s first English language movie; Sci-Fi thriller with about a plant that is engineered to have antidepressant qualities.  The film has the dread and anxiety of a horror movie but without gore or violence.  The pastel colour design is disturbing in itself, as is the unusual score.  Emily Beecham and Ben Whishaw subtly brilliant in an un-showy way.  There is an interesting subtext that could be about medication, mental heal, or GM crops, maybe it’s about all three?Little Joe

Greed: Writers/Director Michael Winterbottom reteams with long-time collaborator Steve Coogan in a film about an unscrupulous fashion tycoon.  Often funny but with a very serious message, far from the directors best work but still very good.Greed

Color out Space: Things start to get a little strange for family living in an isolated woodland home.  Directed by Richard Stanley, his first feature since 1992, and based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft.  Nicolas Cage, does exactly what you expect him, Madeleine Arthur probably has the most screen-time, and is also very good.   I expect it to divide opinion, I loved it!Color out Space

Not the best film, of the month, but the most surprisingly good: Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn):Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

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The Twilight Saga (2008 – 2012) is loved and loathed in equal measure, it does however give us a different type of vampire in a different type of vampire movie. Here are a few more vampire movies with original ideas.

Sunlight in Nosferatu (1922)nosferatu

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens translated as Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror; or simply Nosferatu (1922) directed by F. W. Murnau and starring Max Schreck was adapted from Bram Stoker’s Dracula the names were changed, not to protect the innocent, but because the studio did not obtain the rights to the novel. They didn’t even use the word vampire, instead replacing it with Nosferatu. Despite being an adaptation, Nosferatu has some original ideas, one of them has become a mainstay of vampire movie ever since (except Twilight). Sunlight. In the original novel Dracula avoids daylight as he is weakened by sunlight. Orlok (as he is called in Nosferatu) is destroyed by sunlight.

Kung Fu vampires in The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires

Blade (1998) reinvented the vampire movie, not as a horror but as an action movie. The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) was a co production between Hammer Studios and Hong Kongs Shaw Brothers Studio. Having lost its way from Scars of Dracula(1970) onwards a change was needed and in The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires was certainly a change. Relocating the story to China and utilising the skills of both legendry Hong Kong action director Chang Cheh and Roy Ward Baker, a veteran of several previous Hammer films. The result is a bonkers 83 minute action horror that is both brilliant and original.

Realism in Near Dark (1987)near_dark

Vampire movies are fantasy as any movie containing a fictional species is, however vampire stories tend to be more complicated than that. With stories of good and evil, darkness and light, they are often more religious or spiritual stories. The weapons that destroy vampires often signify purity, they include crucifixes and holly water. Near Dark takes a different approach. Essentially a modern day western, a dustland fairytale were salvation comes not from a mysticism but from a blood transfusion.

It’s fun to be a vampire in The Lost Boys (1987)jun 52

Those who only know Joel Schumacher as the director that killed the Batman franchise in the 90’s will be surprised by his pop culture credentials. As a twelve year old , The Lost Boys was amongst my favourite movies. Although the conclusion is the usual good over evil scenario we have come to expect from a vampire movie, the hour leading up to the conclusion is exactly what the tagline promises: Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It’s fun to be a vampire.

Melancholy in Interview with a Vampire (1994)Interview with the Vampire

Based on the novel of the same name by Anne Rice is the story of Louis de Pointe du Lac (Brad Pitt), a man who following the the deaths of his wife and child has lost the will to live. Offered death by the mysterious Lestat de Lioncourt (Tom Cruise) he instead asks to live and in return is given the eternal “life” of a vampire. What follows is a an existential story based around the melancholy of an unusually long life. Not a completely original idea but probably the best example of the idea.

30 Days of Night in 30 Days of Night30 Days of Night

Ever since Nosferatu vampires have seen vulnerable to sunlight so why did it take so long to set a vampire movie in a place with no sunlight? 30 Days of Night was originally an unsuccessful film pitch, in 2002 it became a three issue graphic novel mini-series written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Ben Templesmith. Five years later it became a movie directed by David Slade. Both comic and movie tell the story of the fight for survival as a group of vampires descend on Barrow, Alaska during its month-long “polar night”.

What happens when the food runs out? in Daybreakers (2009)daybreakers elvis and edward

Vampires are mysterious creatures that exist in the shadows, it is often the case that they appear in movies without the other characters knowing of their existence. But what happens when vampires are take over the world and become the dominant race? Simple they run out of food and that’s the premise of Daybreakers (2009).

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