Well, maybe you’ve noticed that it is nearing Halloween time. This means the Boston Horror ‘Thon is on at the historic Somerville Theatre! It’s 12 straight hours of horror movie goodness, running from dusk to dawn last weekend. This was my first time, and it was exhausting, but really fun! And nothing compared to the 24-hour Sci-Fi Marathon. The theme was vampires, and the line-up featured three I’d seen and three new ones, which was nice. There was also a burlesque show with ladies hell of taking off their garments, and a sort of lame costume contest. And all hosted by this awesome guy. Things learned: Vampires love lesbianism and boobs and sucky noises. They don’t like regular food (which was news to me). Animals hate vampires. Sometimes vampires are not like full vampires? Just almost-vampires?
Anyway, I’ll break it down for you with some short reviews of the films I saw, sticking to just the first three for now. Read on.
1. Bakjwi (Thirst) (2009) Maybe you will remember Park Chan-wook’s latest film from my obsession with it a few weeks ago. After the second viewing, I’m still pretty obsessed. Song Kang-ho plays a Catholic priest who has an accidental vampire blood transfusion and must drink blood to keep a deadly illness from consuming him. He finds himself giving in to new desires and vices more and more as his will lessens, and he brings down with him a put-upon, vengeful young woman married to his childhood friend. It’s captivating, intense, visually stunning, and heartbreaking. One of my favorite films of the year, easily. 5/5
2. Near Dark (1987) I’ve been meaning to get into Kathryn Bigelow’s movies (I’ve only seen Point Break and it was years ago), and Near Dark is definitely a good start. A young Adrian Pasdar stars as over-confident stud Caleb, who tries to seduce a new girl in town only to have her turn him into a vampire. He falls into her crowd of rowdy killers (which includes Bill Paxton) but tries to resist his new bloodthirsty nature, while his father and sister track him down. It’s a pretty cool time, with fun characters and a good dose of violence. There’s a weird half-assed solution to the ending that kind of bothered me, and the love interest lady is super lame and missing a personality, but otherwise I dug it. 4/5
3. Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In) (2008) I remember this being offered as an intelligent, hauntingly beautiful alternative to Twilight when it came out, but unfortunately it didn’t really have as much impact. Focusing on the relationship between a 12-year-old boy and his seemingly young vampiric neighbor, this film is a memorable, raw look at first love, childhood bullying, spontaneous combustion, and the trauma of being a vampire. It’s lovely, really. 4.5/5
Part II in the next post!