The vampire movie has gone through quite the transformation in the past few years. Many fans of the genre will blame its decrease in popularity to the Twilight franchise but I think it is really just the natural ebb and flow of genre popularity that is to be expected. It could be due for resurgence anytime now. In the past year we have seen the release of some pretty cool vampire films including Kiss of the Damned, Byzantium and more recently Afflicted, but this week sees the release of perhaps the most unique vampire films in quite some time, Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive.
Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton play Adam and Eve, a vampire couple that have been having an on again off again relationship for hundreds of years. Recently reunited, Adam has become a famous underground musician and is finding himself depressed with his current situation, barely ever leaving his house, instead sending a human assistant named Ian (Anton Yelchin) to run errands for him. Adam’s life really gets turned upside down when Eve’s young and brash sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska) comes to visit and risks endangering their very existence.
Director Jim Jarmusch is best known for quirky character driven comedy dramas like Broken Flowers and Night on Earth and hard to categorize films like Ghost Dog and Dead Man. But with Only Lovers Left Alive he has created a brilliant character drama about the ups and downs of a relationship, it just happens to revolve around vampires. Hiddleston and Swinton were born to play vampires; they both embody the weary existence of the characters so perfectly it seems as if it was always meant to be. Hiddleston is hilariously grumpy as the vampire who is so tired of the way humans run the world. He is mesmerizing to watch even when he is doing nothing but sulking. And Swinton is electric as pretty much the opposite of Adam; she is almost experiencing a rebirth and getting curious about the world again. And Wasikowska is perfect and almost unrecognizable as the ultimate teenage brat. All impulse and spur of the moment with no thoughts of consequence. The film really is one of those “a month in the life of’ movies with no main story plot to drive the film, and that is totally fine as the three actors more than make the film interesting on its own.
The Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is lush and richly detailed, even if the majority of the film takes place in Adam and Eve’s house. That is part of the fun just looking at the many details that went into the set of their home. The sound quality is solid as well making this an awesome little under-the-radar flick that you must see.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.