Best vampire films of 2010-2015: beyond Twilight

Only lovers left alive

Not all of these films were mind-blowing, especially script wise some of them had their shortcomings. But if a great vampire film needs anything, it’s aesthetics.  Sensuous and seductive bloodsuckers with skins pale as a full moon. Shot like they’re in a fragrance commercial. Well, judge for yourself.  In this article we look forward to the best new vampire films of 2015 and, give a short overview of the 2010’s vampire cinema highlights so far. From typically American horror films, to foreign vampire films, because there was more than just the Swedish Let the Right one in (2008)):

Preview: Vampire Films in 2015

These are the vampire films Thefilmtransition is looking forward to the most:

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2015)

Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour

Starring Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi and Marshall Manesh

best vampire films 2015

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night was probably one of the most hyped indie films of 2014, if not the. This stylish and impressionist vampire flick, shot in black and white, takes place in a deserted and rotten Iranian town where a lonesome vampire rooms the streets, leaving a path of death and destruction. A Girl works well as hybrid between a Western and Gothic tale and reminds of Jim Jarmusch’ best work (Only Lovers Left Alive).

Harker (2015/16)

Directed by Eli Roth

Starring Russel Crowe

russell-crowe2

Very little to say about this one. Russel Crowe is rumored to play the lead in this 1786th Bram Stoker’s Dracula spin-of.  This time, Jonathan Harker is a Scotland Yard detective, determined to capture the malicious count Dracula. Well, let’s see and wait. Haven’t seen a proper Russel Crowe movie in ages.

Near Dark Remake (20??)

Directed by ??

Starring ???

near-dark-4

In 1987, young film maker Kathryn Bigelow (who would turn out to be the first female Oscar winning director for Zero Dark Thirty) wrote and directed Near Dark, a fantastic film about a young Southern boy hooking up with a bunch of travelling vampires. The film gained a cult status, so it wasn’t surprising Hollywood decided to do a remake just when the Twilight hype started of in 2007.  Unfortunately, it was never finished. Recently however, rumor had it that this Near Dark reboot is yet again in production.

Best vampire genre films 2010-2014

Here are listed the best vampire films of the 2010’s up to 2014 in a chronological order.

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

Directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi

Starring Jemaine Clement, Taiki Waititi and Jonathan Brugh

what-we-do-in-the-shadows

It’s not very often a New Zealandic film reaches the continent, let alone a New Zealandic vampire film. What We Do in the Shadows is a genuinely funny parody of the vampire film about three immortal dudes trying to cope with the modern society of normal people. Keeping their bloodthirsty urges at bay however, is the hardest part. Directors Clement and Waititi (also the lead actors) show some real comical talent here in their debut film, which raises the expectations for their next effort.

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Directed by Jim Jarmusch

Starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska

"only lovers left alive"

Last year Jim Jarmusch’ much anticipated 2014 vampire film Ony Lovers Left Alive finally saw its release. And it sure wasn’t a disappointment, making it one of the few actually good vampire films within the genre. In his characteristic poetic and deadpan comical style Jarmusch explored the everlasting love of vampires Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton (mesmerizing as always), ironically named Adam and Eve. The film proved beautifully why ‘vampire flicks’ and ‘quality cinema’ do not necessarily exclude one another.

Byzantium (2013)

Directed by Neil Jordan

Starring Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton and Sam Riley

A terrific British vampire genre film set at the English coast

Neil Jordan isn’t exactly new to directing vampire films. Earlier he directed the classic Interview with a Vampire (1994), which revitalized the genre. With Byzantium he’s going back to the well. It tells the gripping story of Eleanor and Clara, a mother and daughter struggling to live a life as ordinary as possible. When the two settle in a picturesque English coastal town, both encounter their own problems. Clara falls in love with a terminally ill boy, what makes her once again question the advantages of immortality, while Eleanor is being haunted by her tragic past. A must-see stylish British vampire film which emphasizes the sadness of immortality, rather than being a traditional horror movie.

Kiss of the Damned (2012)

Directed by Xan Cassavetes

Starring Milo Ventimiglia, Joséphine de la Baume and Roxanne Mesquida

A vampire flick by the daughter of the eighties indie legend Cassavetes

Breathtakingly handsome actors delivering their lines like they’re reading it from an autocue; this one is all about aesthetics. The plot (screenwriter falls in love with a beautiful vamp, gets bitten, after which they seem to live happily forever after until her jealous, malicious sister turns up) is poor, but still the movie somehow works. It clearly pays homage to 1970’s B horror films and the acting seems to be part of that too. There are stylish shots, sex scenes that come close to exploitation and a thrilling soundtrack. A highly entertaining piece of pastiche directed by Xan Cassavetes, daughter of America’s independent film pioneer John Cassavetes.

Midnight Son (2011)

Directed by Scott Leberecht

Starring Zak Kilberg, Larry Cedar and Maya Parish

Midnight Son

A fresh, exceptional piece of work, Midnight Son proves a vampire film can still be original. This plot-driven film doesn’t follow the typical genre characteristics. Antagonist Jakob suffers from a rare skin disorder which forces him to stay indoors during the day. Things start to change rapidly when he falls in love with Mary, a young cocaine addict. As she’s struggling with her addiction, Jakob’s situation worsens, and becomes obsessed by blood. Merely a film about addiction (blood/cocaine) than about vampirism in the traditional sense of the word, Midnight Son offers something new on the horizon.

Wir Sind die Nacht (2010)

Directed by Dennis Gansel

Starring Karoline Herfurth, Nina Hoss and Jennifer Ulrich

recent German vampire horror film

German director Dennis Gansel made a daring choice by directing this teenage vampire flick after receiving much critical acclaim for Die Welle (2008), a film about a well-known psychological experiment concerning peer pressure and its relation to fascism. Wir Sind die Nacht was box-office failure in Germany, but was received pretty well by critics internationally. The story isn’t too much new; a young vampire girl falls in a love with a police officer who investigates a murder case she is involved with. What will she choose, everlasting life or love? Stylistically however, there’s lots to enjoy. It’s beautifully shot and driven by a nice soundtrack. Not as emotionally challenging as Die Welle, but definitely worth a shot.


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2 Comments

  • Skeh says:

    You have the description of Wir Sind Die Nacht completely wrong, you make it sound like she will become a human again, if she decides to choose the love or something like that, even though, that part of the film has nothing to do with her thoughts about vampirism.

    Also, your description about Midnight Son is very superficial, (maybe a spoiler, warning) you didn’t notice it shows the gradual transformation of normal person into a monster, what a vampire is.

    I knew Byzantium, but I haven’t watched it, yet, hopefully, I’ll do it soon. Thanks for the other suggestions.

  • camille says:

    actually with byzantium… eleanor falls in love with the terminally ill boy, clara is her mother who is troubled by the past

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