Happy new year, fellow ghouls and ghosties, and welcome to the first Gizmodo Movie Night for 2021. This feature’s been on an extended leave of absence but in a era when we’re all spending more time at home and movies are more important than ever, it felt high time to bring it back. If you’re unfamiliar, Movie Night is where you can find all the best streaming entertainment for the week ahead.
This week’s edition will focus on a lovely subset of the horror genre that doesn’t get nearly enough love: vampire movies.
Sure, you’ve got some absolutely terrible films roaming the genre, but it can also be an incredible avenue for coming-of-age stories and tales of psychological warfare. Vampires are multi-layered creatures, and the films they’re in are just as intriguing.
Given the sad delay of Marvel’s Morbius into October, you might be looking for your next big creature feature. Here’s a bunch of vampire flicks you should check out if you’re in the mood for a bloodthirsty romp.
Vampire’s Kiss (1989)
Nicolas Cage is doing his Cagey best in Vampire’s Kiss, a film about a man convinced he’s turning into a vampire. Expect all the wild screams and facial expressions this implies. It’s a bizarre film, but one absolutely worth watching. If not just for Cage’s extreme performance, then for the strange meta-narrative at the film’s core.
Vampire’s Kiss is described as a dark comedy, but it’s likely you’ll find it simply hilarious for other, less intentional reasons.
Vampire’s Kiss is available on Stan.
From Dusk Till Dawn
From Dusk Till Dawn is a schlocky, action-heavy adventure where vampires are the punchline more than the actual crux of the movie, but this road film is a great, entertaining watch. It’s also got some of the bloodiest and visually-appalling gore you’ll find in classic vampire flicks.
If you’re in the mood for blood, high-speed antics and endless bickering between George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, get around this film.
Near Dark (1987)
Near Dark is a coming-of-age flick about a man who stumbles into the life of a vampire after falling in love with a young woman. The romance at its heart has often been compared to Twilight, but this is a far more violent and bloody affair. Caleb (Adrian Pasdar, Heroes) typifies the troubled teen stereotype, but his struggles only grow deeper when Mae’s terrifying vampire family come after him. What follows is a literal bloodbath, and one that’s completely excellent.
Near Dark is available to stream for FREE on SBS on Demand.
Fright Night (1985)
Wildly enough, Fright Night has been done brilliantly twice,with the 2011 remake being just as fun and over-the-top as the original. Either make for a great, vampire-themed movie night but since less people will have watched the original, this is the one we’re recommending here.
If you’ve never seen it, Fright Night is a classic tale about a young man who realises his next door neighbour is an evil vampire intent on taking over his town. Fair warning, it does get fairly gory — and the bloody practical effects have weathered the test of time.
Fright Night is streaming on Netflix.
Interview With The Vampire (1994)
Interview with the Vampire is more ‘high brow’ than other flicks on this list, but it’s still just as fun to watch. Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst star in this period vampire romp about a group of vampires struggling to survive with their immortality. It’s tragic, of course, but there’s a beautiful story of love and loss at the core of the film.
It’s highly regarded as one of the best vampire movies of all time, and there’s a reason it’s had such a longevity. It’s a must-watch for any fan of vampire flicks.
Interview with the Vampire is currently streaming on Netflix.
The Lost Boys (1987)
The Lost Boys is an absolutely classic vampire movie everyone should watch at least once. Forget about the terrible sequels though, you won’t find anything good there.
The movie is another coming-of-age flick and maintains the structure of Near Dark (there must’ve been something in the water in 1987). In the film, brothers Michael and Sam move to a new town, uncover a coven of vampires, and terrifying shenanigans ensue. If you’re going to choose one or the other, The Lost Boys is more compelling than Near Dark but both are equally as entertaining, bloody and fun.
The Lost Boys isn’t available on streaming services, but you can rent it from YouTube for $4.99.
Catch new entries of Gizmodo Movie Night every Friday! Each week we’ll take you through the best movies around, theme-by-theme.