Vampires might be the most universal of all monsters. They’ve penetrated popular culture all around the world, especially the movies. There are so many good vampire movies out there, that narrowing it down the best is massively difficult. But here are our Top 10 Vampire Movies. Let us know what vampire movies get your blood pumping.
10) Dracula (aka Horror Of Dracula) (1958)
First up in our Top 10 Vampire Movies, is Dracula. Dracula is easily the world’s most famous vampire and Bram Stoker’s creation could be said to be the catalyst for why vampires became so popular. Nobody has played the role of Dracula more than Christopher Lee. Lee is the embodiment of the Count and the movie Horror Of Dracula does a great job of breaking down the story of Dracula into its essential elements. This Dracula is a real classic and one of Hammer House of Horror’s gothic masterpieces.
9) Byzantium (2012)
A well-written story, set along the English coast, that explores the history and struggles of two vampires, as they try to survive and remain hidden from the fraternity of vampires that is hunting them. The protagonists are two very different women, a mother and daughter, who see life through very different eyes. This different way of looking at the world, drives the story, with reflection upon life, death, and immortality. Many vampire movies try to put their own spin on vampires and their lore, but Byzantium does it quite stylishly, by creating its own entirely original and mysterious mythology.
8) Let The Right One In (2008)
This Swedish film is set Blackeburg, outside Stockholm, and tells the story of Oskar, a 12 year old boy who, bullied and alone, makes friends with (seemingly) young vampire girl, Eli. Oskar is an outcast, with a fascination with death. Eli is a ruthless predator, who must kill for survival. Though Oskar is unaware of Eli’s secret, he falls for her and the two form a deep bond.
Let The Right One In had an English language remake, Let Me In, in 2010. However, the subtle beauty of the story is definitely better in the original.
7) Near Dark (1987)
The are a handful of vampire-westerns out there and for some reason the mix of these two genres works really well. Of all of them, Near Dark is the defining movie.
Young, handsome farmhand, Caleb, falls for a beautiful drifter Mae, not realising that she is about to plunge him into a brutal world of blood and carnage. Caleb is taken away by Mae and her bloodthirsty vampire family, who cut a swathe of death and violence across the American midwest. Caleb does his best to survive, while struggling to maintain his morality. But he is eventually forced to choose between the world of horror he’s been inducted into and the life he left behind.
6) Salem’s Lot (1979)
It’s no surprise when Stephen King pops up on a horror list. There’s a reason that he’s known as the King of Horror. Salem’s Lot is King’s second novel and in 1979 was adapted for the screen. Originally released as a miniseries for TV, Salem’s Lot can now be watched in its entirety, as a movie.
Salem’s Lot is about a writer (as many of King’s stories are) who returns to his childhood home town, hoping to write a book about the local haunted house. But once there, he finds that the house has recently become the residence of a mysterious stranger. Soon, the town is beset by a number of strange deaths and it becomes clear that the undead have come to the town of Salem’s Lot.
5) From Dusk Til Dawn (1996)
Quentin Tarantino writes a vampire movie. The result is exactly what you’d expect: lots of crazy over-the-top action, a massive amount of swearing, lots of guns, larger-than-life characters… oh, and vampires.
If you’re watching this movie with a friend, who’s never seen it before, do them a favour and don’t tell them it’s a vampire movie. Half the fun of this film is the very sudden appearance of vampires, into what would otherwise be a wild Tarantino crime movie, about a couple of bandits, on the run and headed for Mexico. But even if you know its actually a vampire film, it doesn’t take away from the awesomeness of it all.
4) What We Do In The Shadows (2014)
It’s not all horror. Vampires have crossed into every genre and What We Do In The Shadows is pure comedy genius. Filmed as a documentary, following the (un)lives of a group of vampires, who share a house together, in suburban New Zealand.
Part of the fun of this film, is that each of the vampires in the film embodies a different cliché vampire trope, from the frilly, romantic, gothic vamp of classic literature, to the black leather, rebel vamp of 80’s cinema. Of course, they all fail to properly live up to their desired aesthetic and those failures are hilarious.
What We Do In The Shadows has also been adapted into a TV show of the same name, which equally funny and well worth checking out, after you’ve seen the movie.
3) Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Count Dracula is so iconic, he gets two listings on our Top 10 Vampire Movies.
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, this is as true to the original novel as any movie can be. The ancient Count Dracula, surviving for centuries on the blood of the living, recruits the services of solicitor, Jonathan Harker, who travels to Transylvania in order to finalise the details of the Count’s real estate acquisitions in London. Dracula sees a photograph of Harker’s fiance, Mina, and believes that she is the reincarnation of his lost love, Elisabeta. So, the Count travels to London, to make her his.
It’s a story that has been retold many times, but seldom with the sheer style and gothic majesty of this version.
2) The Lost Boys (1987)
Not just a great vampire movie, but one of the best and most defining movies of the 1980’s.
The Lost Boys tells the tale of the Emerson family, who move to the coastal town of Santa Carla, to live with their grandfather. Mother, Lucy, is recently divorced and seeking a fresh start. Youngest son Sam is despondent at having been uprooted and moved to the supposed “murder capital of the world”. While eldest son Michael quickly has his head turned by a beautiful local girl, named Star. In pursuing her, he becomes wrapped up with a gang, who are far more dangerous than Michael could ever imagine. Soon, he and his family are fighting for their lives against the forces of darkness.
1) Interview With The Vampire (1994)
Interview With The Vampire breathed new life into the vampire genre (pardon the pun). It was the movie that convinced a whole generation that it would be cool to be a vampire.
Staring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, these two Hollywood big hitters totally dominated the screen, as wayward vampires Louie and Lestat. One trying to live an unlife of finery, extravagance, and hedonism, while the other desperately seeks some sense of meaning in it all. Also featuring a breakout performance from a young Kirsten Dunst, the three form an unlikely family, drifting through a world that they no longer connect to.
Perhaps ironically, Interview With The Vampire is notable for restoring a sense of humanity to vampires. Told through the recollections of Louie, as he looks back on his long and emotional past, we are given a glimpse into a secret world, that none but a vampire can truly understand, filled with incredible wonders, but also incredible pain.
The Hamiltons (2006) & The Thompsons (2012)
Independent films by The Butcher Brothers, which really should be taken as a pair. The first movie introduces us to a dysfunctional family, with a big secret. The sequel follows that family, as they seek a safe place to live out their lives.
The original Universal Studios classic, staring the iconic Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula.
Using the found-footage format, this horror movie follows two friends traveling Europe, when one of them contracts a mysterious disease and begins to change.
Shadow Of The Vampire (2000)
In 1922 the silent horror movie Nosferatu was released. Shadow Of The Vampire is about the making of that film, but with the hidden secret that the vampire in the movie was real.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014)
An Iranian vampire movie, set in a cruel and bleak town in Iran. Drugs, prostitution, murder, apathy, and a vampire.
Like these movies? What would be in your Top 10 Vampire Movies? Let us know!
Want more horror? Check out our Army Of The Dead Review.