31 Days of Halloween – Day 11
Near Dark (directed by Kathryn Bigelow, 1987) Country boy Caleb (Adrian Pasdar, Top Gun, Heroes) meets a pretty, young stranger, May, which he has an instant connection with. What Caleb does not realize is that May is a “vampire” (although the term is never mentioned in the movie). After being turned into a creature of the night, Caleb also discovers that May comes with some baggage; a marauding “family” of blood thirsty maniacs who have no regard for human life. Caleb is not reading to accept his new way of life and crosses the gang, which results in a violent game of life and death. There are many similarities between Near Dark and Lost Boys, which I think are purely coincidental because they were released within months of each other. Where Lost Boys had a comedic element and has a more “Hollywood”, Near Dark is more dramatic and has an independent feel. This does not mean the film lacks style, because it does not. Near Dark takes itself more seriously. If you are looking for scares, Near Dark is probably not going to satisfy you. But if you are looking for a cool spin on the vampire genre, with some good gore, violence, and atmosphere, Near Dark is a safe bet. Veteran horror mainstay Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Pumpkinhead) plays Jesse, the leader of the “family”. Bill Paxton (Weird Science, True Lies) is Severen, a psychotic vampire, with a quick wit, and a desire to watch people suffer. Paxton’s dialog is worth the price of admission alone. Kathryn Bigelow (Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) is an academy award winner and an amazing writer/director. This is only her second full-length feature, and you can see why she has gone on to an incredible career. She gets a lot out of the actors in Near Dark, which makes it believable and entertaining. The film fires on a cylinders; action, violence, characters, and even has an element of love story. It may not be the typical Halloween film, but typical can get boring, and Halloween should not be boring.
Cool Fact – In the background of one of the early scenes, you can see a movie theater marquee with “Aliens” now playing. Near Dark stars Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton and Jenette Goldstein are also stars in Aliens (1986). Director Kathryn Bigelow is also married to Aliens director James Cameron.
- Day 1 – The Conjuring
- Day 2 – You’re Next
- Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
- Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
- Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
- Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
- Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
- Day 8 – The Prowler
- Day 9 – Pet Sematary
- Day 10 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Day 11 – Near Dark