This is one of those movies that has had a lasting impact on me. The more I think about it, I realize it’s informed a bunch of aspects of my life: my brief obsession with Kiefer Sutherland that led me to write a fan letter to him describing the dream I had in which he was my father (to which I received no response, of course)…my love for cover songs (and Echo and the Bunnymen)…my affinity for scary movies and vampire novels.
I hadn’t watched this in a couple years, but the sense of nostalgia and whimsy I felt watching it tonight was awesome. Almost 30 years since it came out, this is still one of the best vampire movies I’ve ever seen and absolutely one of my favorite movies.
First, the cast is great. The first time I saw this, Dianne Wiest and Kiefer Sutherland were the only faces I recognized, thanks to my unhealthy obsession with Flatliners and Little Man Tate when I was a kid. This was the first time I’d ever seen Jami Gertz in anything, but her performance as Star was impressive enough for me to be excited when she made appearances in things like Twister and Seinfeld.
I think that this and Speed 2: Cruise Control are still the only things I’ve really seen Jason Patric in, but he was just fine as Michael. Oh! And this was the first appearance of the two Coreys together (Corey Haim as younger brother Sam and Corey Feldman as Edgar Frog)! And I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out Barnard Hughes’s delightful performance as Grandpa, since his closing line is one of my favorite quotes of all time and just the perfect ending to this movie.
Sure, it’s not all that scary, but it has its moments. I have to give Joel Schumacher credit for really understanding how to keep an audience entertained from start to finish — there’s never a dull moment in this movie. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and it’s got Edward Herrmann in it. What more could you ask for? A killer (no pun intended, I swear!) soundtrack, you say? Check! And I’ll throw in the little kid vampire for free.
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