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Kiss of the Damned
A cool and contemporary take on the vampire myth, steeped in atmosphere and brooding contemplation.
Horror 2012 95 mins
Director: Xan Cassavetes
Two estranged vampire sisters, one good and one bad, are unexpectedly reunited at a remote summer estate in Connecticut. The virtuous Djuna is determined to follow an honourable path, refusing to feed off the blood of innocent human prey. When a new love arrives, insisting he join Djuna for eternity as one of the undead, a happy future appears to lie ahead. However, Mimi, a rebellious succubus with a bad attitude, has other plans, and attempts to bring chaos and destruction to her sister’s quiet life.
Like Claire Denis’ Trouble Every Day, Xan Cassavetes’ cool and contemporary take on the vampire myth presents a distinctly existential vision of the afterlife, steeped in atmosphere and brooding contemplation. Often solemn in approach, there is also much fun to be had here, particularly in the playful eroticism that brings to mind the work of cult favourite Jean Rollin or the saucy output of 1970s Hammer.
Horror 1974 83 mins Director: Tobe Hooper
Unrivalled in its relentless vision of pure terror, Tobe Hooper’s horror masterpiece remains as brutal and horrific as it ever was.
Horror 1976 91 mins Director: David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg’s classic outbreak horror introduces us to a young woman (Marilyn Chambers) who hungers for human blood after an experimental plastic surgery goes wrong.
Horror 2014 101 mins Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
If you only see one Iranian vampire western this year, make sure it’s this one. A female vampire stalks a ghost town in Ana Lily Amirpour’s arresting debut.
Horror 2009 104 mins Director: Lars von Trier
After tragedy strikes, a couple retreat to a cabin in the woods in order to grieve. However, they find things go from bad to worse, in this brutal interrogation of nature from Lars von Trier.
Horror 1979 107 mins Director: Werner Herzog
English language version of Herzog’s stimulating take on the Dracula story starring Klaus Kinski, with echoes of Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu.
Comedy 2014 86 mins Director: Taika Waititi
An achingly funny mockumentary about New Zealand’s hitherto unknown vampire (and werewolf) communities, from the creators of Flight of the Conchords.
BFI London Film Festival
Documentary 2011 91 mins Director: Carol Morley
The power of kinship is explored in Carol Morley’s drama-documentary, drawn from real life and resonant with the way we live now.
Drama 2018 90 mins Director: Andrew Bujalski
Andrew Bujalski serves up a big-hearted comedy with his day-in-the-life look at Double Whammies – a Hooters-style bar and its tight-knit, all-female staff.
Documentary 2019 94 mins Director: Suhaib Gasmelbari
Beautifully shot documentary about four members of the 'Sudanese Film Club' who decide to revive an old cinema.
Drama 2020 90 mins Director: Aleem Khan
In this knockout feature debut from BAFTA-nominated short filmmaker Aleem Khan, Joanna Scanlan is superb as a woman left reeling upon discovering her late husband’s secrets.
Drama 2020 91 mins Director: Abel Ferrara
Abel Ferrara returns with an extraordinarily vivid, visually dazzling and characteristically strange rumination on sex, dreams and death.
Action and Adventure 2018 93 mins Director: Jimmy Henderson
An innocent man sentenced to rot in a Cambodian jail is released for the sadistic pleasure of twisted trophy hunters and forced to fight – or die.
Drama 1998 119 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda's lyrical fantasy challenges the viewer to reflect on the experiences that most make life worth living.
Drama 1995 109 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda’s first fiction feature is an exquisite meditation on loss, loneliness, uncertainty, and coming to terms with the past.
Documentary 2016 80 mins Director: Steven Okazaki
The on and off-screen character of Toshiro Mifune, Japan’s first international movie star, is explored in this illuminating documentary exploring the life and legacy of this mercurial icon.
Drama 1964 140 mins Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
Mikhail Kalatozov’s epic about the Cuban Revolution is breathtaking both for its scope and the audacity.
Drama 2008 115 mins Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Koreeda’s subtle, moving account of the tensions within a family is his most Ozu-like film.
Drama 2003 141 mins Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Koreeda’s drama about four children left to fend for themselves is a heartbreaking study of childhood neglect.