Sunday, 1 November 2015

There are no safe spaces in John Carpenter's Vampires, only safe times. In the daytime, vampires shield themselves from fatal sunlight, hiding underground or in boarded-up shacks. Skilled hunters know what to look for, and, despite their physical disadvantage, their prey are easy to defeat. At night, however, the tables turn, and the hunters are no match for their unencumbered prey. Time is more important than anything. Hunter Jack Crow frantically says "we've got less than eleven hours until the sun goes down," while vampires stalk their prey from darkened buildings, waiting for their chance to strike. Carpenter's camera turns to the sky as often as the hunters do, tracking the ever-setting sun, but if the vampires find what they're searching for, a way to walk in the daytime, all of this time-keeping becomes futile. Vampires is a film about preserving a way of life. The vampires want to extend their power beyond the limitations of night, removing their only weakness, while the hunters, of course, cannot allow themselves to be placed at a disadvantage. They're winning, but for how long? Carpenter sees a sky filled with clouds. As much as they move and change in time, there will always be clouds in the sky. Time keeps things alive, keeps things moving. Time is hope. But you can't see clouds at night.

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