Although vampire fiction has pervaded the public consciousness ever since the 1897 release of Bram Stoker’s book Dracula, but in the last couple of decades we’ve seen a huge rise in the amount of vamps we see on television and in film. Here are some of the best and the worst of the last ten years.
Let The Right One In is the name of both a 2004 novel and a 2008 romantic horror film of the same name, both in Swedish. There was an American remake later in 2010 named Let Me In, although the 2008 original is considered much more important and maintains an average rating of four out of five on review sites. Let The Right One In ranked number one in Bloody Disgusting’s list of the Top 20 Horror Films of the Decade, and takes a new approach to the existing vampire mythology.
The 2007 vampire horror film 30 Days of Night was based on a three-part comic series by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. Its opening weekend saw it grossing over $15 million, with a final gross of $75 million worldwide and its Rotten Tomatoes rating is a middle-of-the-road 51% based on 156 reviews.
One of the most popular series to emerge from a book, and a leader in the vampire revival, is True Blood which was first released in 2008. Based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris and adapted by HBO legend Alan Ball, it came out to mixed reviews on its star-crossed lovers paradigm and very adult themes. Although the show’s Metacritic score rose steadily over the first three series, it began to drop from series four; seasons three and four had the highest viewing numbers, over 5 million.
The 2009 Vampire Diaries series is based on an early nineties novel series and also deals with the love between a vampire and a human. Arguably True Blood was the first to popularise these themes on recent TV, but the influence has extended out to new books, graphic novels and even slot machines based on the idea of immortal romance which can be found on all manner of casino sites such as Lucky Nugget Casino for example. Compared with other channels, The Vampire Diaries’ 2 million viewers for each season after the first doesn’t seem a lot, but on The CW it is one of their most-watched shows and is now running its fifth season, with a spin-off series called The Originals due to premier in the 2013-14 season.
The Absolutely Awful
All of the shows and films mentioned so far have at least an average rating. These films do not. Dracula 3000 (which is not connected to Dracula 2000) takes away the vampire’s biggest weakness – sunlight – by having him terrorize people in space. A film which displays completeand has gained universally negative reviews, it makes Dracula 2000 seem like a masterpiece.
“wow this movie is worse for your brain than drinking paint thinner” #dracula3000— jake_dot (@jake_dot) November 15, 2012
The Lost Boys, released in 1987, was a great vampire teen flick and grossed over $32 million worldwide, but over twenty years later the theme was revived for two sequels. Joel Schumacher wasn’t involved with the new straight-to-DVD films Lost Boys: The Tribe and Lost Boys: The Thirst, both of which hold a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the wonderful and disastrous world of vampire fiction. Are we growing tired of the vampire themes, or is our interest in the supernatural only just beginning to pique? Only time will tell.
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