The Supernatural and Creatures: Vampires, Werewolves and Demons, Oh my!
There is too many movies that fit into this subgenre that I enjoy, so I hope that I am able to do justice to this most popular subject. It is also, sadly, often an overused subject as many B-movies can attest to.
The Lost Boys(1987). My first vampire movie. As a treat, and after much begging on my part, my mom let me watch it one afternoon when I arrived home before my younger siblings. I am very glad that I watched it during a sunny, fall afternoon and not after dark. As the title suggests, it has a sort of skewed Peter Pan-esque feel to it, which wasn’t at first apparent when I was younger. A group of punkish teenagers lure newcomer, Michael, into their group, slowly seducing him with their cool lawlessness and pretty Star, the group’s only female member. Michael, unwittingly, starts to show symptoms that his younger brother assumes belongs (with help from the resident vampire experts, the Frog Brothers) of a vampire. There is a really cool showdown near the end of the movie between vampires and humans. Plus a neat little twist of sorts concerning motive. It’s gory though, but what would a vampire movie be without blood?
I Am Legend(2007). A great movie on many levels. A lone man in a wasteland of viral vampires in which Robert, the main character, has a daily routine of scavenging the city looking for supplies or hunting for food, he also experiments, looking for a cure. It is sometimes poignant, sometimes tense and I cry almost every time at the scene with Robert and Sam, his dog companion. Those who have seen it probably knows what I mean. I have also seen The Last Man on Earth (1964) with Vincent Price in the lead role, which was really good as well. I have yet to read the novel but it has spawned three movie adaptations and probably several works “influenced by”, one of which is the low budget zombie movie I Am Omega (2007).
Other Vampire Movies: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Interview with the Vampire (1994), 30 Days of Night (2007), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Blade (1998)
Cursed (2005). This is a horror-comedy by Wes Craven. I enjoyed the mix of traditional werewolf lore and modern day culture found in this movie. It centers around siblings Ellie and Jimmy Myers who have an accident on their way home. Descending a hill to see how the other driver fared, they are scratched by some sort of wild beast, a beast that violently kills the woman involved in the accident. Once home, Jimmy begins to investigate unidentified animal attacks which leads him to believe they had survived a werewolf attack. As the movie progresses, the werewolf symptoms become more evident and there is also a slight element of mystery since the victims all have one thing in common. It does contain gore, but I have yet to see a werewolf movie, or any monster type movie for that matter, that doesn’t. I think that there is a nice twist at the end, I know that when I first saw it, the werewolf was not the one I thought it was.
Silver Bullet (1985). Based on the illustrated novella Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King. Here siblings, Marty (Corey Haim) and Jane (Megan Follows) Coslaws, have a strained relationship which changes as a series of gruesome, violent murders begin to plague the small town of Tarker’s Mill. Fear conquers the townspeople until a curfew is put into place and the festival is cancelled. The Coslaws decide to have their own backyard celebration and the children’s uncle is invited. Uncle Red makes a motorized wheelchair (named Silver Bullet) for Marty and gives him a bag of fireworks. Marty takes his new wheels out for a spin one night, with the intention of lighting off his fireworks. It is at a bridge that Marty sees the werewolf. He escapes by chucking a firecracker at the beast which takes out one of the creature’s eyes. Without spoiling who the werewolf is for those of you have not seen the movie or read the book, I will say that Marty and Jane know who it is.
Other werewolf movies: American Werewolf in London (1981), American Werewolf in Paris (1997), Wolf (1994), The Wolf Man (1941), The Wolfman (2010).
Demons & Supernatural Entities
Jeepers Creepers (2001). I love this movie. Siblings Trish and Darry Jenner are going home during college break, driving through the countryside. They are run off the road by a large, rusty truck with the license plate “B Eating U”. Trish and Darry try to first discover who or what the driver is, following the driver back to a large pipe. Shaken by what was found, they flee to a gas station intending to call the police and they receive a phone call from the local psychic. Shortly thereafter, it becomes apparent that the siblings are being hunted, well one is specifically, Darry. The Creeper seemed to enjoy the young man’s smell. For me the ending is both heartbreaking and very creepy.
Paranormal Activity(2009). Okay, I’m a sucker for mockumentaries and “found footage” movies. The Blair Witch Project, Monster and 7 Nights of Darkness. The last two I will discuss in my next post. This astounded a lot of people, it was the little movie that could, low-budget and filmed in a short period of time and brilliantly put together to for a movie that felt like it had actually happened. I went into watching the movie on the fence, not really expecting anything, although my parents who had watched it before I had the chance to, said that they didn’t care for it. I love it. A haunting-like experience has been happening to Katie and her boyfriend, Micah, decides to document the events and buys a camera, among other electronic devices all designed to catch the haunting in some form. He does not take this seriously, sometimes mocking and childish, other times angry and near the end he becomes scared. The acting is good here, they seem like normal people which makes it feel very real. The DVD has two endings. The theatrical one and then an alternative. It was the disturbing alternate ending that I first had seen.
Other demon/supernatural themed movies: Legion (2010), Wolfen (1981), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Evil Dead (1981).
Creature Features: Stuff that I couldn’t fit into the above.
Jaws (1975). After watching this movie, I definitely fear getting into the water, even the man made lake not far from out house. Yes, I know that it is impossible for a shark to live in that lake (unless there happens to be a mad scientist who is genetically engineering great white sharks for fresh water living nearby) but still, the idea of getting into a body of water deeper than a bathtub, and murky water at that, is frightening. Based on the novel of the same name (yet another book to add to my growing list of to-reads) by Peter Benchley. If you haven’t seen this movie, see it. It is about an impossibly large great white shark that is plaguing the waters off a small island community, that is all I am saying. This movie contains many intense moments, and the musical score is legendary.
Alien (1979). This is a great sci-fi horror. A group of employees of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation are woken from stasis by the computer after it receives a distress signal. They land and explore the area, finding a room filled with eggs. One crew member (Kane) is attacked by a hatchling of an egg, the creature nestling over his mouth and nose while a evil-looking tail wraps around his neck making it impossible to remove by manual force. Ash, the ship’s Science Officer, tries to surgically remove the creature but is unsuccessful. The creature’s blood is made of acid. Eventually, Kane wakens, the creature having died and released its hold on him but not without leaving behind a gift for the crew of the Nostromo. My favorite character is, of course, Ripley. She is strong, intelligent and much braver than I would have been in that situation.
Other Creature movies: Predator (1987), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), Tremors (1989).