Offscreen, the incomparable festival that loves all things cult, is showcasing remarkable vampire films this year. We spoke to director Harry Kümel, who made the cult classic Daughters of Darkness. But we have also selected 5 other vampire films to sink your teeth into.
Guillermo del Toro’s romantic monster fable The Shape of Water is the favourite to sweep the board at the Oscars this Sunday, and we might have predicted that 25 years ago. That is when the Mexican debuted with a novelistic, scary, and expressionist variation on the myth of the vampire. He was not inspired by large incisors or virgins, but by the concepts of immortality and the malevolent desire for eternal life.
> Cronos. 18/3, 19u30. Cinema Nova
Following a medical examination, a Catholic priest turns into a vampire. It is completely contrary to his faith, conscience, and love of neighbour to kill people, but his lust for life and sexual lust are not easy to repress. When the Korean master Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Stoker, The Handmaiden) sinks his teeth into a vampire film, you get your money’s worth: horror, humour, eroticism, emotion, and existential struggles.
> Thirst. 10/3, 21u. Cinematek.
3. Le Frisson des Vampires
Because he directed pornography, the French Jean Rollin was long dismissed as a common peddler of sex films. That is a grave mistake. Rollin has made several erotic vampire films that can compete with Dario Argento in terms of their psychedelia and stylization, and with David Lynch for their atmosphere. And he throws the slow thoughtfulness, theatricality, and beautiful nudes in for free. This is his most radical experiment in the genre.
> Le Frisson des Vampires. 21/3, 21u. Cinematek
4. Låt den rätta komma in
Winter light and steamy breath have seldom looked so magical (and tense) as in this hushed Swedish gem. However strikingly red blood contrasts with virgin-white snow, director Tomas Alfredson is not out to shock you with gore, but rather to poetically explore the tentative advances between two lonely souls: a shy, bullied boy and a girl from the neighbourhood who has spent an eternity as a twelve-year-old. Chillingly beautiful.
> Låt den rätta komma in. 7/3, 19u30. Cinema RITCS
5. The Addiction
This is not the best film to discover the metropolitan doom cinema of Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant). It is better suited to adepts who will not be surprised by his pronounced visual style, Catholic themes, and raw junkie sadness. In depraved New York, a young philosophy student turns into a vampire. Nietzsche and Sartre can’t help when you’re addicted to blood like a junkie is addicted to crack or heroin. Who can offer redemption?
> The Addiction. 18/3, 19u30. Cinema Nova