Almost from the beginning, vampire fiction has been a battleground between the powers of heaven and hell.
Midnight Mass isn’t the first vampire story to blend vampirism as a metaphor for addiction with literal substance abuse. It is, however, probably the only paranormal horror story to focus so intently on the role of religion in recovery.
Clearly I am not a vampire. As you can see here, I’ve changed quite a bit in the last six years … not necessarily in my opinion of this franchise.
“When it comes to fighting vampires and performing exorcisms, the Roman Catholic Church has the heavy artillery” is how Roger Ebert opened his review of John Carpenter’s Vampires.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
Dark Shadows in 60 seconds: my “Reel Faith” review.
If you are in love with the 1970s and Johnny Depp, perhaps you will enjoy this. Andrew O’Hehir says he knew he would love the film when he spotted a banana-seat Schwinn bicycle leaning against the front porch of Collinwood in an early scene. All right. But then comes a “happening” featuring Alice Cooper as himself (!), with a disco ball and cage dancers. At Collinwood. Is this really anyone’s idea of a good time?
Here’s my 30-second take on Twilight – Breaking Dawn: Part 1.
Director Scott Charles Stewart seems to be making a career out of erasing Jesus from history, and celebrating supernatural heroes who rebel against God for the greater good … in apocalyptic action/horror movies starring Paul Bettany.
It’s hard to imagine any filmmaker making the final, and probably the most perverse, of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books into a good movie—let alone two movies, which is the plan. But Summit Entertainment is giving it their best shot: After discussions with a list of respected directors including Sofia Coppola, Steven Daldry and Gus Van Sant, Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey) has reportedly emerged as the front-runner, according to Deadline.com.
Twilight and New Moon are essentially uncritical celebrations of that overwrought, obsessive passion that is the hallmark of immaturity — passion that wholly subordinates all sense of one’s own identity and elevates the beloved to summum bonum, or even the sole good; passion that leaps as readily to suicidal impulses and fantasies as to longing for union.
There is even a Twilight tourism industry, centered on Washington State, where much of the story is set. While Robert Langdon fans get to go to Rome and Paris for the Dan Brown experience, Stephenie Meyer aficionados converge on rainy Forks, Washington to take “Twilighter tours” of locations more or less corresponding to settings in the books, from a Craftman-style house similar to the Swans’ to a locker at Forks High School designated Bella’s locker.
Chastity is a precious thing, and the struggle to be chaste is both an inevitable part of a moral life and a legitimate subject for narrative art. In part, this quest for chastity may legitimately form some part of Twilight’s appeal. At the same time, a narrative that wallows in the intoxicating power of temptation and desire, that returns again and again to rhapsodizing about the beauty of forbidden fruit, may reasonably be felt to be a hindrance rather than an affirmation of self-mastery.
Bigger effects and badder creatures make Del Toro’s second take on Hellboy more entertaining than the original, but something’s still missing in the story of the super hero from hell.
Though diminished by decades of pop-horror incarnations, the vampire remains uniquely evocative of both dread and fascination, horror and seductiveness. Monsters from werewolves to Freddy Krueger may frighten, but neither victims nor audience are drawn to them. By contrast, the vampire suggests the horror of evil working on our disordered passions.
The making of Nosferatu — the first (if unauthorized) film version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and one of the 45 films on the Vatican film list — has passed into legend. Denied rights to Dracula by Stoker’s widow, German director F. W. Murnau simply had an adapted screenplay written with alternate character names: Count Dracula became "Count Orlock," Jonathan Harker became "Thomas Hutter," and so on. (Substantial changes were so minimal that at least one English-language edition actually restores Stoker’s original names in the title cards.)
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.