Top 10 Vampire Movies

Vampire films of late have been gathering a bad reputation and the genre appears to be waning; whether it be due to poor casting, cheesy effects, or awful storytelling. However, despite Stephenie Meyer’s best efforts, the genre is still alive and seems more popular than ever.

Vampire Criteria: Vampires must be the film’s main focus. No split monster genres (Underworld, Night Watch) and no shitty films (Twilight, Queen of the Damned, Van Helsing), regardless of popularity.

*Also missing from consideration are a few potential ‘classics’ I have (somehow) yet to see: Thirst (2009), Martin (1977), Fright Night (1985), Near Dark (1987).

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Close Call: Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)

Mel Brooks’ take on Dracula. Although not on the same level as his earlier effort Young Frankenstein (1974), it is quite enjoyable and often hilarious.
* The trailer is awful

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10) Blade II (2002)

With a better story, nastier villains, and impressive visuals, Blade II surpasses it’s predecessor in nearly every aspect. Adding Guillermo del Toro as director and including some of his regulars, Ron Perlman & Luke Goss, doesn’t hurt either.

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9) Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Francis Ford Coppola’s excellent adaptation boast some amazing visuals and adds a back story to Dracula which actually strengthens the film. However, it does have a few, rather major faults. Namely two of the worst casting decisions ever made. Winona Ryder’s attempt at a British accent is cringeworthy but at least her acting can be somewhat believable. Not so for Keanu Reeves, who is extremely wooden and borderline emotionless (well beyond his usual). Sadly, these also negate two rather brilliant performances by Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins.
* Note the almost complete absence of Keanu Reeves in the trailer, specifically not showing any of his spoken lines.

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8 ) John Carpenter’s Vampires (1998)

James Woods…Daniel Baldwin…As vampire hunters.
* Best trailer on the list

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7) Horror of Dracula (1958)

Featuring Hammer Films legends Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. This is one of the best made films the duo starred in and also includes some rather shocking/gory scenes for its time.

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6) From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

The film starts with two fugitives taking a family hostage and making a run for Mexico, the story then takes a u-turn and becomes all about surviving vampires. As crazy as that plot sounds, it works when the people behind it are Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.

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5) Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

An incredibly original film which explores the fictional myth that actor Max Sheck, Count Orlok in Nosferatu (1922), was actually a vampire in real life. Following director F.W. Murnau’s (John Malkovich) obsessed attempt at making a realistic vampire film and his ill advised decision to cast a real vampire as the lead.

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4) Cronos (1993)

Guillermo del Toro’s first feature film and his second on the list. Differing from traditional vampire mythos, immortality and blood lust are due to a purposely invented device made of gold. Dealing more with the intrapersonal conflicts and moral problems associated with being immortal, it is an interesting take on the genre and a must watch for those tired of typical vampire films.

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3) Dracula (1931)

Bela Lugosi will forever be synonymous with Dracula. His iconic performance is still the most definitive and well-known portrayal, despite the film being over 70 years old. Realistically though, Bela aside, the film doesn’t have much to offer. Characters and story are poorly developed, the dialogue is weak, and the supporting cast is merely passable. Despite numerous shortcomings, it is a classic and set the standard for cinema’s portrayal of Dracula.

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2) Let the Right One In [Låt den rätte komma in] (2008)

A wondrous and unforseen masterpiece that proves the vampire genre was not completely killed off by Stephenie Meyer and still has much to offer. Let the Right One In falls somewhere between horror and romance, but not in the sense of The Twilight Saga. Focusing on two preteens, childhood awkwardness and companionship take the place of romantic lust and passion. The outcome is a gratifying tale filled with tragedy, uncertainty, and hope.
My Full Review

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1) Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922)

The unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel, well over 80 years old and still the best vampire film ever made. It’s artistic, expressionist visual style and Count Orlock’s grotesque rat-like appearance help create an unnerving and sullen atmosphere making Nosferatu enjoyable even to those who hate silent films.

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About sebastianhaff
I'm Steve. 24 year old recent college grad. My love of films (and sheer boredom) lead me to begin this blog. My taste in movies is eclectic, although I tend to lean toward foreign and non-mainstream cinema. Feel free to contact me at: sebastianhaff@ymail.com

6 Responses to Top 10 Vampire Movies

  1. “Let the Right One in” is my favorite. It feels so real and scary, gives a feeling like it’s an artistic documentary. Beautiful screenplay and good art direction. Cast is doing a remarkable job as well.

  2. Where is Interview with the vampire?

  3. Teresa says:

    I haven’t seen Cronos. I’ll have to have a look for it.

    No Queen of the Damned? Well, what about Interview with a Vampire? It should be on the list somewhere.

  4. Vampires says:

    Steve, great list. I love that John Carpenters Vampires made your list. I feel that movie doesn’t get the respect it deserves sometimes. The first 10 minutes of that film are epic. Great list!

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