I think it's safe to say that we've all had our fill of vampire films for the time being. Though Chan-wook Park's Stoker looks sets to shake up the formula when it's released this Friday, the glut of Twilight movies released over the last four years is enough to make anyone numb to anything the genre has to offer. With its sparking vampires, terrible acting, awful visual effects and unintentionally hilarious narrative, the movie adaptations of Stephenie Meyer's immensely popular teen romance novels make a mockery of the vampire mythos, and it can cause us to forget just how great the genre can be. At its best, vampire movies are thrilling, violent, often comedic, and often infused with an underlying theme that parallels the vampirism with a facet of the human experience. Though the 1980s was evidently the boom period of vampire cinema, I don't think it's a genre beyond saving. Get ready to remember a time when vampires didn't sparkle! Here are 10 vampire movies that put Twilight to shame...
10. Fright Night
Though the recent Colin Farrell-starring remake was a surprisingly competent take on the material, Tom Holland's 1985 original is always going to be the one to watch. If far too many vampire films take themselves dead seriously (pun intended), Fright Night was a reminder that it was possible to mix the grotesquery with plenty of cutting humour, in many ways inspiring the glut of horror comedies that fill our cinemas these days. Chris Sarandon is fantastic as Jerry Dandridge, the next-door neighbour who a kid suspects is actually a vampire, though nobody believes him. With the help of a late-night TV show host, he goes about trying to stop Jerry from unleashing a reign of terror on his sleepy town, with thrilling and frequently hilarious results. A perfect mash of Hitchcockian suspense and John Carpenter-esque subversion, Fright Night is a classic of the horror comedy genre.
Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.