If you are like the rest of the internet, you are probably deep in the midst of the Twilight renaissance– a resurgence of love for the early 2000s series. The increase in attention towards the saga also means an increase of criticism directed at the “epic”– yet often times destructive, love between Bella and Edward. Sure, the continued awareness of Twilight isn’t always positive, but you can’t deny the appeal of watching a bunch of sexy vampires fall in love. There’s something captivating about watching the fantastical forbidden romances of vampire movies. But don’t freight if you never felt the love of Team Edward or Team Jacob, these equally (if not more) romantic vampire movies will quench all your bloodthirsty needs.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
A western-romance-horror mashup, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a feminist flick worthy of its high praise. In a dilapidated Iranian city lives an unnamed vampire (Sheila Vand) who roams the land on a skateboard. Unknown to Bad City’s few residents, the lonely vampiric woman travels the streets at night, hunting men who abuse and mistreat women. Though she lives her life based on a strict moral code, the woman lacks any sort of meaningful human connection. Arash (Arash Marandi), a deeply indebted citizen of the city, struggles to support himself and his drug-addicted father. When a chain of bloody circumstances lead to the pair meeting one another, the equally despairful duo find themselves unable to escape their unique connection. Though A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is not as reliant on romance as Twilight, the movie’s a darkly enthralling narrative of two lonely people finding solace in one another and it makes for an original love story. Accompanied by gritty black and white shots, the film is a beautifully intimate take on the genre.
Only Lovers Left Alive
Starring the odd combination of Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, Only Lovers Left Alive tells the story of a centuries old married couple, living their vampiric lives through a long distance relationship. Adam (Hiddleston), a musician, has become desolate from his long life without recognition. His wife, Eve (Swinton), comes to console her husband after becoming aware of his suicidal ideations. The couple’s sweet reunion is quickly ruined when Eve’s younger sister (Mia Wasikowska) shows up. Eve drinks Adam’s stash of blood, forcing the pair to hunt for their next meal. The love story of Adam and Eve is far more mature than Twilight’s Bella and Edward and that works to the film’s advantage. This isn’t a tale of young love or a newfound relationship, Only Lovers Left Alive‘s story is about what happens in a decades old romance. It is heart-warming, funny, and captivatingly original.
Blood and Roses
An adaptation of the famed novella, Camilla, 1960 erotic horror film Blood and Roses warns viewers against jealousy, lust, and wearing the clothing of your deceased vampire ancestors. A lonely heiress, Carmilla (Annette Vadim), grows increasingly jealous of her cousin’s (Mel Ferrer) engagement to her friend, Georgia (Elsa Martinelli) . As her envy for her cousin’s lover grows, Carmilla becomes fanatical about the history of a rumored vampire relative. When her cousin throws a ball to celebrate his upcoming marriage, Carmilla, accompanied by the spirit of her vampire relative, decides to make her presence on the event barbarically known. The movie is ridiculous in the best way possible, shamelessly celebrating the oddities of its vampiric possession plotline while artfully portraying its 1960s setting. Although not as overt in its LGBT+ themes as its source material, Blood and Roses is a good choice for anyone else who wishes Alice and Bella had gotten together during Twilight.
Loosely based on a novel from the 1800s, famed Korean director Park Chan-wook delves into the horrifically steamy world of vampires with Thirst. A beloved priest, Sang-hyun (Kang-Ho Song), volunteers to endure medical experimentation in hopes of creating a vaccine for a deadly virus. The experiment fails and the priest is infected by the virus, resulting in a blood transfusion. Sang-hyun miraculously recovers– something that should be impossible. Sang-hyun reconnects with his childhood friend, Kang-woo (Shin Ha-kyun) and his wife, Tae-ju (Kim Ok-bin), finding himself attracted to her. Soon, Sang-hyun realizes his healthy state only remains when he drinks human blood. The man is torn between his catholic faith and lust for both blood and his best friend’s wife. Thirst works perfectly for someone who enjoyed the passion of Twilight, but is searching for something a bit more thrilling. The movie captures the forbidden romance aspect, but presents it in a horrifically original way.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Of course, the quintessential vampire tale! Broken by his wife’s (Winona Ryder) sucide, a 15th century prince, Count Dracula (Gary Oldman), renounces his human ways to become the famed vampire of legend. Centuries later, a solicitor (Keanu Reeves) arrives at Dracula’s home regarding a property deal. When Dracula glimpses a photo of the man’s fiance, he sees his late wife staring back. Convinced that she is the reincarnation of his beloved, Dracula starts a war to bring her home. Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula has gained a notable cult following over the years for it’s version of the classic gothic tale, with much love given to Oldman’s acting as well as the gorgeous victorian-era set design. Though the film still has its fair share of criticisms, notably Reeves’…interesting accent choices, the splendidly atmospheric nature of the film has made it stand out from the crowd of many Dracula remakes.
The Wisdom of Crocodiles / Immortality
Jude Law plays an aging vampire who has fueled his blood lust by feeding on helpless single women. No longer able to sustain himself off of the blood of the lonely, the vampire searches for the youthful plasma of a woman who will love him. He pursues a beautiful scientist, Anne (Elina Löwensohn), seducing the woman into a relationship. While the feelings between the pair mutually grows, the vampire knows only one will come out alive. If you feel that you’ve grown up from the fairytale ending of Twilight, then this might be the perfect pick for you. The adult nature of The Wisdom of Crocodiles (also known as Immortality) takes the best elements of Twilight’s teenage love affair and pushes them further, making a more seductively mature feature. And Sure, the romance of the film isn’t exactly healthy, but hey, neither was Twilight.
KEEP READING: Why the ‘Vampire Academy’ Movie Deserves Another Look
The film previously known as ‘Five Eyes’ will be released theatrically early next year.
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