Since last year I’ve had a somewhat manic interest in vampires. Specifically, because due to my depression I find focusing on reading very difficult, I’ve been watching a lot of vampire films.

I’m not sure what first prompted my interest, but there’s certainly something psychologically intriguing about the idea of being immortal. The film that I think tackles this most clearly is Only Lovers Left Alive, where we can imagine what it must be like to have all the time in the world to learn new languages, travel the world, and find companionship in another immortal. But I’ve been enjoying all sorts of vampire films. Here’s a list of the ones I’ve watched (that I can remember) in no particular order:

Near Dark
Let the Right One In
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Interview with the Vampire
All the Underworld films
All the Blade films
All the Twilight films
Byzantium
Lost Boys
The Hunger
Van Helsing
Dracula Untold
Daybreakers
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (film)
From Dusk till Dawn
All the Mr. Vampire films (though Chinese ‘vampires’ are very different)
What we do in the Shadows
30 Days of Night

I feel I’m forgetting some. If it’s a modern vampire film, I’ve probably watched it. I have Night Watch and Day Watch on order right now and am looking forward to that.

I’ve actually been watching the Underworld films repeatedly as I think the first two have a perfect mix of ‘vampires are cool’ and action choreography. On nights where I feel I can’t handle anything that requires thought they’ve been perfect.

I’d find it difficult to rank my favourite vampire films, but definitely Interview with the Vampire, Bram Stoker’s Dracula are up there. And as for ‘best’ film I think Let the Right One In (the original—I haven’t seen the remake yet) is incredible, not just as a vampire film but as a film in its own right. It is underneath a very queer love story.

Because I’ve just about exhausted the films, I’ve decided to try to tackle reading some literature. As I said, depression makes it very difficult to read anything longer than a tweet: your mind wanders, your eyes glaze over; you have to read one sentence several times for it to sink in. But because I enjoyed Interview with the Vampire so much as a film, and because the film follows the book closely, I’m now tackling the second novel, The Vampire Lestat. Enjoying it so far.

Last year I also bought the DVD box set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I’m gradually working my way through that. It’s really enjoyable. I’m now up to Season 5, and have the Angel box set to watch after I finish. I didn’t catch these shows when they were first broadcast so this is a first viewing for me. The writing on Buffy is excellent and seems to improve with each season.

Vampires are so fascinating as a mixture of romanticism, eroticism, technology and magic. It makes sense that, as someone who studied modern occultism and Paganism, I’d be into vampires, but I didn’t think I’d be so into them.

Right, time to go and watch Underworld again…

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