So Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part 2 has appeared in cinemas. This is something many of us could care less about, especially while Argo and Skyfall are still in circulation. But just in case you have an itch for some supernatural romance but prefer your movies without terrible actors, hokey effects, padding by way of long, long speeches, creepy romance involving a newborn and cinemas full of delirious fangirls then grab one of these romances and enjoy.
10. Warm Bodies
Ok, fine, you can’t watch it yet because it isn’t out yet. But you CAN watch the trailer and get on board the hype train with the rest of us!
This is certainly a case of the right people being hired for the job. Guillermo del Toro has a very striking aesthetic and it’s perfectly suited to Mike Mignola’s supernatural investigators, and Ron Pearlman could not have been more perfect or the role unless he’d grown horns. The glue that holds the movie together is the relationship between Hellboy and Liz Sherman. The former is a giant, red skinned, horned demon with the mind of a rebellious teenager and the other is a psychologically repressed girl who burns everyone to death whenever she can’t keep her temper in check. Both actors play it so completely straight and with such heart that you can’t help but love them.
8. The Phantom of the Opera
Unless it’s playing in the theater best skip the modern musical version and go for the original. It’s not the novel that made this such a well known story, it’s the performance by Lon Chaney. Instead of a black and white morality tale about stranger danger we have a sympathetic monster who you kinda want to see come out on top even though they’ve done the wrong thing. Worth watching for Chaney alone.
Matthew Vaughn’s (the guy who made Kick-Ass, Layer Cake and X-Men: First Class) adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s young adult fantasy didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but it certainly charmed those who went to see it. Whilst it didn’t quite live up to the book (what do you expect, it’s Neil Gaiman!) it’s still a fun film about a boy who falls in love with a star. Fans of The Princess Bride should especially check it out.
This is off topic, but it’s a gripe that I wish to express. I hate, HATE the way people bag on Twilight because they depict vampires as being able to walk in the sun because “y’know, I’m pretty sure Dracula couldn’t do that, he burst into flames which is what vampires are SUPPOSED to do you ignorant fools”. Time to get a clue buddy, because the novel Dracula also depicts vampires as being able to walk around in the sunlight, albeit in a state where they cannot use their powers. Try reading a book sometime.
Anyway, there’s some really good versions of Dracula on film – you should watch them.
5. Corpse Bride
Tim Burton? Former unique talent spending his time applying the same tired formula to remakes. What mad him brilliant at the start of his career were the original creations, such as Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands. In recent days we haven’t had as much in the way of originality from Burton, except for Corpse Bride. Victor is a young man who finds his fortunes turned around when his arranged marriage turns out to be a kindred spirit. Then he accidentally marries a living corpse who wants to take him to the underworld. With music by Danny Elfman (of course) and starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter (was there any doubt?) this is a fun tale that proves that there might still be a spark left in Burton’s mind.
4. Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin)
If you’ve seen the awful Nick Cage/Meg Ryan flick City of Angels then this plot will sound familiar – no wonder, considering that it was a sappy remake of the German art film Wings of Desire. The movie follows two angels who are visiting Earth, one of whom desires to renounce his supernatural life to become human and accept everything that goes with it. One of the driving forces behind this conflict is the trapeze artist Marion whose zest for life shows him what he could have. Eventually they meet at a Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds concert (just to make things more awesome).
3. Bride of Frankenstein
One of the many movies that prove that the original is not always better than the sequel. Frankenstein’s monster survived the mob attack of the original film and is finding his way back to his maker. During his journey home the Monster learns more about what he is, even learning a few simple words and remembering former relationships. Although the Monster has always been portrayed as a sympathetic creature it is the closing moments of this movie that most effectively tug at the heart strings.
2. Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in)
This unusual Swedish horror is more like to disturb rather than charm, but it’s still a unique masterpiece. Oskar is frequently bullied and is becoming increasingly angry about it. Feeling weak and powerless his world is changed when he meets his new neighbor Elli. Elli is something unusual – for starters she’s not technically a she, and she’s not human. The two form an unusual bond and begin to trust each other and explore each others worlds even as the bodies are starting to pile up.
1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV)
Taking a break from the big screen we can find the best written supernatural romance comes form none other than Joss Whedon. Buffy Summers is a normal high school girl who finds herself born into the role of ‘slayer’, protector of humanity from supernatural horrors. Things become complicated when her love interest, Angel, is revealed to be a vampire making amends for his past crimes. With the medium of television there’s space to explore the complexities of the relationship, right up to and including his turn back to his evil ways. Joss Whedon is finding new fans thanks to The Avengers – if you haven’t gone back and caught up on his best work now is the time to do it.