Tag Archive: dracula


Delving into the Deep

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Maybe it was a dream, maybe it was someone hoping. But I could have sworn I heard or saw that this year’s World Series was going to be between the Dodgers and the Yankees.

Immediately my head started thinking about how somethings never change, even when teams switch coasts or get new ball parks or have long-time owners die.

I thought about players such as Lou Gerhig, the Yankee who died from ALS and became the namesake of the devastating illness. I thought of Yankee Joe DiMaggio with his 56 hit streak and later devotion to Marilyn Monroe.

I thought of the dodger’s phenomenal pitcher, Sandy Koufax and groundbreaking Jackie Robinson.

That is until I finally heard that it was going to be the Huston Astros vs, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball.”

Field of James, Kevin and JamesJames Earl Jones, in his deep-throated honey voice said these lines in Field of Dreams, a movie that never doubted the magic of baseball.

This is not a movie for little kids, not contextually. Sure they can watch it for the most part and they might understand some of it, especially that desire to play catch with your dad. But the grief one feels at lost opportunities or the crazy motivation to turn your field of corn into a baseball diamond is powered by something more adult. There is a longing that children or teens may not quite get but adults do.

That is why this movie makes men cry.

I find Dracula movies are complex like that as well. I’m not talking about Twilight but those movies that feature Dracula as a man who lives on the side of evil but remembers when he wasn’t that way. You see it in the Bela Lugosi 1931 version, the way he looks to Mina to become what he is and to have her by his side always.

There is something of love, of hope, of a determination to not be alone.

Dracula-untold-luke-evansYou see this theme in many of the Dracula movies, even the Gary Oldman version from 1992 fed on this theme. Winona Rider who played Mina, made her love for the count an obession worth dying for.

Over the years, we have not lost our fascination with the undead. Writers and film makers have explored what it means to be a vampire, The last movie I found was in 2014 starring Luke Evans as Vlad, a man who is trying to protect his village but takes extreme measures to do it. Dracula Untold may not be a good movie but it is filled with action. And it shows a man who understands the decisions he makes, accepting their consequences.

That is always one thing I respected about Dracula, no matter what his incarnation. He is who he is with no regrets, no looking back. Otherwise, wouldn’t he try to kill himself or have Van Helsing do it for him?

Maybe this weekend I could explore one of these incarnations. Even Gerard Butler has taken on the role with a New Orleans setting in Dracula 2000 before he became a super action hero saving the U.S president one more time.

Bring on the popcorn.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

Bella and Edward from Breaking Dawn, Image from IMDb.com

This past week I was looking at the stories about the fall movie season and noted the large picture of Edward and Bella from the latest movie in the Twilight series.

 

As I looked over the ads, I saw a picture for Fright Night starring Colin Farrell as the villain of the movie.

 

I could not help thinking that I am happy to see vampires once again becoming the big mean bad guys. Sure, Edward is a romantic sort. So was the Brad Pitt character in Interview with a Vampire.

 

And yet, and yet, there is a reason for the folktales and legends of vampires. We are meant to be scared by them. These stories tell us to be wary of the dark and strangers – no matter how attractive they might be.

 

Poster Image from IMDb.com

One vampire movie that has always stuck in my head is The Lost Boys with Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland.

 

The story is about two boys and their mom who move in with their grandfather in a small California sea-coast town. The older boy is drawn to a rough crowd by a beautiful girl while the younger boy makes friends with comic book geeks who clue him in to the dangers of the town.

 

The older brother realizes he is on his way to being a vampire while Mom is dating a new guy. It becomes a full-blown battle to remain family with the living or join a new family of the dead.

 

It has been years since I have seen the movie but I cannot forget the song “When You’re Strange” by The Doors playing over the credits.

 

1992 Poster Image from IMDb.com

While perhaps it is a bit campy, Dracula starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves still gives me a bit of a scare. It is reminiscent of the great German vampire movie, Nosferatu with its shadows and mood. The point is not to humanize the monster, which it tries to do, but to show that Dracula is a monster. That he has committed crimes against God that have led to his current life.

 

We might see Mina falling for the beautiful aspect of the Count. And yet to become his lover she must drink his blood, she must step over to the dark side. It will endanger all of her family but who cares when it comes to romantic obsession.

 

You might notice that none of these movies are meant for younger children and you would be correct. I firmly believe that some movies are meant for kids when they get older. Vampire movies that have no sense of limits when it comes to violence should have limits as to who can watch them. That is simply my opinion. However, I am curious what other people might think. I have friends who love the horror genre and share this with their teenager who is now making interesting short films in that genre. I am sure their opinion is different from mine.

 

As the Halloween season is near, I would like to hear from people what age is acceptable for various horror movies. You can drop a note below in the comment section. 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.