Weekend Watchlist | Vampires

By The Pitt News Staff

They’re dark, they’re dangerous and they’re gay. It’s October and The Pitt News Staff is kicking off a monthlong series of monstrous movie recommendations with the age-old classic — vampires. Grab your garlic and your stakes and take a look at what we have in store for you.

What We Do In The Shadows (Amazon Prime) // Sinéad McDevitt, Digital Manager

Vampires might be creatures of the night, but Taika Waititi’s mockumentary “What We Do In The Shadows” shows they can have fairly normal problems as well. The film follows four vampire roommates living in a shared flat in New Zealand, trying to get used to the modern world.

Starring Waititi himself and frequent collaborator Jermaine Clement, the film is an absolute riot following the afterlives of these four main characters. The cast includes Viago (Waititi), who was accidentally sent to New Zealand by a servant while attempting to pursue the woman he loves, Vladislav the Poker (Clement), a character based on Gary Oldman’s performance as Dracula, Deacon Burke (Jonathan Brugh), the rebel of the group — which in the case of vampires means enjoying knitting, amongst other things and finally, Petyr (Ben Fransham), a pastiche of Nosferatu.

This mishmash of different eras of vampires are then thrust into the modern, leading to hilarious situations that you should really just see for yourself. And if you watch the film and want more? There’s a spin-off series on Hulu for you to check out too.

Castlevania (Netflix) // Diana Velasquez, Culture Editor 

Speaking of gay vampires, our bisexual dhamphir Alucard is here to kill all the demons you need. With some help, of course! If you’re yearning for the monster-hunting trio to beat all monster-hunting trios — Alucard (James Callis), Sypha (Alejandra Reynoso) the magic wielder and Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage), wielder of whips and sexy biceps has you covered.

“Castlevania” is a Netflix original show based on the Japanese video game of the same name. Basically, I could summarize this show in four phrases — squeal-worthy fight scenes, Catholic trauma, Alucard’s daddy issues and Armitage’s swoonworthy voiceover for Belmont. But to give you a better idea of the plot, it centers around Alucard’s father, Dracula, who has gone mad after Catholic priests burn his wife at the stake. He releases demons on the world in revenge, and our heroes must find a way to stop them. There really isn’t a main character in this show I don’t like. They’re all complex and usually more than a little bit crazy. Heroes or villains, the characterization is some of Netflix’s best, including their live action shows. The writing has on more than one occasion made me cry. And the stellar animation is worth the four-season watch on its own.

Jennifer’s Body (Amazon Prime) // Nadiya Greaser, Staff Writer

“Jennifer’s Body” is my only movie recommendation for the month of October. High school movie? “Jennifer’s Body.” Campy slasher movie? “Jennifer’s Body.” (Read this in Hannah Gadsby’s voice) lesbian content? “Jennifer’s Body.” Vampire movie? “Jennifer’s Body.” 

Horror is full of movies that hate women or fetishize them (paging Stephen King) or make them into manipulative monsters, and writer Diablo Cody’s feminist critique of the role of women in horror is both a refreshing correction to the genre and a funny, campy and vampy play on the trope of “man-eaters.” Director Karyn Kusama both pokes at and pays homage to classic horror films, but ultimately creates something distinct. Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried lean into the comedic and often intentionally cringey dialogue with sincerity and an ironic self-seriousness that highlights Cody’s arch comic sensibility.

At some point in the collective reckoning with misogyny in Hollywood, both Megan Fox and “Jennifer’s Body” received overdue apologies and critical reevaluation. Both were heavily criticized at the time of the movie’s release for being too sexy and not funny, but time and distance (and better taste) have revealed what was always there — a self-aware, subversively queer, and supremely funny skewering of both horror and high school.

Twilight (Netflix) // Hayley Lesh, Staff Writer

When it comes to vampires, nothing can top the cult classic that is “Twilight.” Whether you are Team Edward or Team Jacob, this vampire franchise possesses a sense of nostalgia (and cringe?) that makes it fun to rewatch.

In case you need a little refresher (or you’ve been living under a rock), “Twilight” centers on the shy and awkward Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) after she moves in with her father, Charlie (Billy Burke). While Bella is not too fond of her new home, she is quickly captivated by the mysterious Cullen family. More specifically, Bella is captivated by Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). When Bella discovers that Edward is a vampire, she finds herself entangled in a world of danger, romance and excitement.

While I cannot say that “Twilight” is a cinematic masterpiece by any means, it is a great movie to watch when you need a good laugh or just can’t think of anything else. Plus, you’ll definitely appreciate the many quotable scenes that take place throughout the movie.

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