3 Unconventional Vampire Movies
Investigating the murder of a maid, Detective Hoshino (Kanji Tsuda) interrogates her former employer, the beautiful and seductive Miyako Rozmberg (Aya Sugimoto). She indicates that a gangster named Ukyo (Jun Kaname) is responsible for the murder. But Hoshino soon discovers that Ukyo is a former Edo-era swordsman who was turned into a vampire, by none other than Miyako. Soon, Hoshino also falls under Miyakos spell and a bloody battle ensues...
Blood is a 2009 Vampire movie from Japan and quite unlike any other. Director Ten Shimoyama (Shinobi) has created a surreal masterpiece of passion and despair, full of quiet moments and captivating shots. He uses colorful lighting to create a surreal, hypnotic atmosphere and the minimalistic sounddesign just enhances it. The film is slow, but deliberately paced. There are a few action scenes, but they're never as over-the-top as to disturb the somber mood of the film. All in all, Blood is a beautifully shot, captivating Vampire movie that is subtle in its approach but relentless in the passion it contains. This is a movie that will stick with you long after the credits have rolled.
Let Me In (2010)
Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is an unhappy young boy. His parents are divorcing and he gets bullied at school. When a 12 year old girl named Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz) moves in next door, he befriends her and things start to look up. But Abby is a vampire and her father has to go around town and drain the locals to keep her alive. When Owen finds out, he has a difficult choice to make. Or...maybe it's not a choice at all?
I don't think I even have to keep on writing. If you're following vampire and/or horror movies in general, you have most probably seen this film. And if not, you should do so immediately, as this is probably the best movie of 2010.
This is a remake of the 2008 swedish film Let the Right One In and while I usually loathe remakes, this one is actually reall really good - some even say it's better than the original. The cinematography is superb: The color scheme is bleak, the camera is brilliantly used to convey subtle hints and impressions. Is the friendship of Owen and Abby accidental? Or does one of them - or maybe both? - have an ulterior motive? Director Matt Reeves has crafted a stunning masterpiece of cinematography that will be extremely hard to surpass and in some ways, is better than the original swedish version. The relationship between Owen and Abby is the heart of the movie and it is depicted so amazingly that you won't be able to resist getting invested in these characters. Due to this focus on emotions and relationships, the movie is more of a Drama than anything. But be warned: In contrast to the swedish version, some scenes in the movie are brutal. I'm not going to say too much, but if a vampire needs blood, you'd better run for the hills.
Unfortunately I can't talk much about the movie without spoling anything, and spoiling in this case would be a major sin. Don't watch the trailer, don't read any other reviews, just watch the movie and let yourself be captivated by the best vampire film of the last few years, maybe even ever. This is not just one for the horror fans, but for everyone. I cannot possibly praise this movie enough.
Higanjima - Escape from Vampire Island (2009)
Akiras (Hideo Ishiguro) brother has been missing for two years. When he meets a mysterious woman (Asami Mizukawa) who claims to know about his whereabouts, he agrees to go with her. She leads him and five of his high school friends to Higanjima, a remote island that does not exist on any map. And soon after they arrive, they find out why: The entire population has been turned into blood thirsty vampires! A bloody and hopeless battle for survival ensues...
This movie is a refreshing take on the vampire genre. It's an adaption of the manga of the same name, and it shows: The movie is fast, flashy, bloody and just straight-up fun. The story takes a back seat as Akira and his friends battle hordes of vampires and several CG-generated monstrosities. The CG is kind of obvious, but definitely fits the overall comicbook style of the movie. The characters are likeable, the action is fast-paced and the vampires refreshingly agressive and feral. Mix that with some cool makeup effects and the occasional campy dialogue and you have a popcorn flick that is easy to enjoy by anyone tired of the pseudo drama that is Twilight and it's knockoffs. Higanjima is an island worth visiting, but only if you bring popcorn (and preferably a sword to fight of vampires).
Unfortunately the movie isn't out yet in the US, but you can get it from Amazon.co.uk relatively cheap. If you want something different and off-beat, this is the vampire movie for you.
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