I originally thought of this week’s selection of arthouse vampire movies. However, maybe it’s my personal tastes, but while these films were certainly much more dramas than horror, I didn’t find them that artsy. So because of this, I had to find another thing these two films had in common. (Other than the vampires, of course) So I went for the next best thing, films about pairs of Vampires.

Wednesday Double Feature - Vampire Pairs - Only Lovers Left AliveMy first film, Only Lovers Left Alive, Tells,  directed by Jim Jarmusch, tells the story of Adam and Eve (Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton) a married couple of immortal vampires currently living separately with Adam in Detroit and Eve in Tangiers.

Adam has been suffering from a bad case of suicidal despair and has been planning to kill himself. Eve travels back to Detroit to talk him down.

This is a slow quiet film that is more a study of how two immortals will interact over the centuries, taking in the beauty of art and culture. Vampirism seems to be only an issue since in pop culture it’s the form immortality most people know about.

Hiddleston and Swinton have fairly good chemistry with Swinton’s otherworldly appearance being perfect for the role.

On a side note, I found myself drawn back to thinking of Vampire The Masquerade again. If Near Dark was a film about the Sabbat, this was very much a movie about the Toreador.

Wednesday Double Feature - Vampire Pairs - ByzantiumMy next film Byzantium tells the story of Clara and her daughter Eleanor. (Played by Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan) Two vampires who have been on the run from other vampires for centuries. They finally find sanctuary in a beachfront hotel called the Byzantium. Things go well at first though Eleanor has tired of her existence on the run and, having been sheltered by Clara, is oblivious to the real dangers of her existence. From here she becomes attracted to a sickly and mortal young man (Caleb Landry Jones)…. Things kind of go downhill from there.

This film was fairly well done with good performances from the principals and with a very nontraditional take on vampirism (the can go out in the daylight and have retractable thumb spikes instead of fangs, etc) with an interesting backstory. Though I couldn’t quite get into it in the long run.