The 25 Best Vampire Movies

Vampire movies are a very popular variety of horror with a long tradition. Stories about bloodthirsty monsters cinema took from literature and folk tales. They first began to appear on the big screen in the 1920s, when horror was just forming its genre characteristics. A trend that was particularly fond of dark horror stories was German Expressionism. It was Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau who first decided to film Bram Stoker’s famous novel “Dracula”.

A vampire is, according to folk tradition, a figure associated with the forces of evil. The monster feeds on human blood, sleeps in a coffin and fears daylight. Tales of vampires expose the various characteristics of these monsters, thus revealing the truth about our hidden fears, especially those related to eroticism, blood and the origin of evil.

Vampire films have traditionally reflected sexual fears, since the blood the monster feeds on harbors genes passed on in the erotic act. For this reason, the vampire primarily attacked beautiful young women. Interestingly, with the emergence of blood-borne diseases such as HIV, vampirism has become a kind of dangerous epidemic in cinema. Vampire films also show an evolution in the perception of the source of evil, of which the monstrosity is a metaphor. While in early productions the vampire arrives in Europe or the Western world more broadly from the outside, in later films – evil already resides at the very center of our civilization.

The best movies about vampires

1. ”Nosferatu. A Symphony of Horror” (1922) – dir. Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau

vampire movies - Nosferatu

The famous “Nosferatu”, based on Bram Stoker’s novel, titled “Dracula”. Dracula, is one of the most recognizable images of the vampire in our culture. The work tells the story of a bloodthirsty monster hiding in the guise of a Romanian prince. Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s film is not a classic horror film, as the genre had not yet fully formed in the 1920s. Belonging to the trend of German Expressionism, the work is already a cult film, which influenced both later images of vampires and set the path for the development of horror cinema. It starred the phenomenal Max Schreck in the lead role.

2. “Dracula” (1992) – directed by Francis Ford Coppola

vampire films - Dracula

Awarded three Academy Awards, “Dracula” by F. F. Coppola, with magnificent music by Wojciech Kilar, is a monumental work, being another screen adaptation of Stoker’s novel. Vlad Dracula (Gary Oldman) stars as a Romanian aristocrat who comes to London to find his beloved, lost years ago. The partner of the main character was played by Winona Ryder.

3. “Shadow of the Vampire” (2000) – directed by E. Elias Merhige

25 vampire movies - shadow of the vampire

“Shadow of the Vampire” is a very interesting work, as it is based on the story of the making of the film “Nosferatu. A Symphony of Horror”. Here is a German director, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (John Malkovich), decides to engage a truly terrifying character for his picture, Max Schreck (Willem Defoe), who turns out to be the true embodiment of a bloodthirsty monster. Soon the boundaries between the film and nightmarish reality become blurred.

4. “The Hunger” (1983) – directed by Tony Scott

25 vampire films - The Hunger

“The Hunger” was based on the novel by Whitley Strieber. The main character of the film is a beautiful vampire Miriam (Catherine Deneuve), who, in order to preserve eternal youth, feeds on the blood of her subsequent lovers. However, these practices cause men to age quickly, and she is doomed to a constant search for love. When a similar fate befalls her next sweetheart, John (David Bowie), the two decide to find a miraculous remedy for the problem. They decide to enlist the help of Dr. Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon), who is working on a youth elixir.

5. “Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles” (1994) – directed by Neil Jordan

The best vampire movies - Interview with the vampire

“Interview with the Vampire” is a great film in which Neil Jordan openly plays with the conventions of the genre. Awarded two Oscars, the work tells the story of a man, Louis (Brad Pitt), who is going through mental torment after the death of his wife. The only salvation from his suffering turns out to be his transformation into a vampire, offered by the cynical bloodsucker Lestat (Tom Cruise). After two hundred years of numerous adventures in a new incarnation, Louis gives an interview to a journalist of a well-known radio station (Christian Slater), in which he reveals his darkest secrets.

6. “Twilight” (2008) – directed by Catherine Hardwicke

The best vampire films - Twilight

“Twilight” (2008) and subsequent parts of the series: “New Moon” (2009), “Eclipse” (2010), “Breaking Dawn: Part 1” (2011) and “Breaking Dawn: Part 2” (2012) are screen adaptations of the popular saga by author Stephenie Mayer. It is a story of forbidden love between a beautiful girl and a handsome vampire. Bella (Kristen Stewart) is a teenager who moves with her father to a small town. She soon falls in love with the mysterious Edward Cullen (Robert Pattison), a vampire, but who, along with his clan, refrains from consuming human blood. Paradoxically, the greatest threat to this relationship turns out to be representatives of vampires from the enemy camp.

7. “Hotel Transylvania” (2012) – directed by Genndy Tartakovsky

the best vampire movies of all time - Hotel Transylvania

“Hotel Transylvania” is for both children and adults. Count Dracula runs a lodging center for monsters of various sorts. When his beloved daughter enters a difficult age (she turns 118), she begins to rebel against the rules of her world and decides to break them. She befriends a human boy and invites him into her home.

8. “From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996) – directed by Robert Rodriguez

the best vampire films of all time - From Dusk Till Dawn

Seth (George Clooney) and Richard Gecko (Quentin Tarantino) are two brothers who engage in robberies and even have a record of murder. While on the run from the police, they take hostages: a pastor (Harvey Keitel) and his adolescent sons. Together they reach Mexico, where they stay at the mysterious Titty Twister club. They are unaware that after midnight the place is overrun by vampires.

9. ”Thirst” (“Bak-jwi”, 2009) – directed by Chan-wook Park

25 essential vampire movies - Thirst

“Thirst” is a dark Japanese film about a priest who becomes infected with a dangerous virus while working in Africa. The patient’s serious condition requires a blood transfusion. During this procedure, the clergyman becomes infected with vampirism. After returning to the country, the priest becomes an object of popular interest: people see in him a healer endowed with supernatural powers. Soon, however, it turns out that the protagonist is awakened by an unknown erotic lust for his friend’s wife. Starring Kang-ho-Song and Ok-bin Kim.

10. “Blade: The Eternal Hunter” (1998) – directed by Stephen Norrington

25 essential vampire films - Blade

The titular Blade is half-human, half-vampire. What’s more, his complicated identity is tied to his vocation, which is to annihilate the bloodthirsty monsters that threaten humans. In this way, Blade wants to exact revenge for infecting his mother with vampirism and excluding him from the human population. Starring Wesley Snipes in the lead role.

11. “Dark Shadows” (2012) – directed by Tim Burton

the 25 greatest vampire movies - Dark Shadows

At the end of the eighteenth century, handsome and wealthy Barnabas Colinwood (Johnny Depp) leads a lush social and erotic life. One day he unwisely seduces and abandons Angelique Brouchard (Eva Green). It turns out that the woman is a witch and in an act of revenge for her broken heart she puts a curse on the man: she turns him into a vampire and buries him alive. After two hundred years, however, Barnabas awakens from his deathly sleep.

12. “The Lost Boys” (1987) – directed by Joel Schumacher

The 25 vampire films - The lost boys

“The Lost Boys” is a classic tale of a town terrorized by vampires. Two teenage brothers settle down with their mother in Santa Carla. The younger of the two quickly befriends a pack of boys interested in vampire stories. When his older brother is attacked by local bloodsuckers and becomes one himself, the hero turns to his friends for help. Starring Corey Haim and Jason Patric.

13. “Underworld” (2003) – directed by Len Wiseman

vampire movies list - Underworld

“Underworld” depicts the rivalry between two hostile clans: Vampires and Lycans (werewolves). The representative of the former is the beautiful Selena (Kate Beckinsale). The woman is assigned to a special mission: she is to take back from Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman) a valuable item that plays a key role in the war.

14. “Only Lovers Left Alive” (2013) – directed by Jim Jarmush

vampire films list - Only Lovers left alive

Jim Jarmush, one of the most interesting directors of American alternative cinema, has made an interesting film about vampires, among other things. “Only Lovers Left Alive” is an atmospheric story about bloodsuckers-decadents who do not understand the modern world, so they protect themselves in the space of music, literature and art. The main characters are a mature vampire couple: eccentric musician Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and his partner Eva (Tilda Swinton), who, after years of separation, decide to be together again. However, everything changes when they are visited by the vampire’s younger sister, Ava (Mia Wasikowska).

15. ”Let Me In” (2010) – directed by Matt Reeves

Movies about vampires - Let me in

Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a teenager who suffers from his parents’ divorce and being a school victim. His life changes, however, when he meets Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz), his new neighbor. The hero soon discovers that his friend is a vampire and has something to do with a series of mysterious murders in the town.

16. “Salem’s Lot” (2004) – directed by Mikael Solomon

Films about vampires - Salems Lot

“Salem’s Lot” is a film based on the novel by Stephen King. The main character of the horror film is writer Ben Mears (Rob Lowe), who is looking for inspiration for a new book, and for this purpose visits the place where he spent his childhood. Two other mysterious visitors also appear in town. Soon a mysterious epidemic of anemia breaks out in Salem, and then it turns out that more people are disappearing under mysterious circumstances.

17. “30 Days of Night” (2007) – directed by David Sale

the best films about of vampires - 30 days of night

The film “30 Days of Night” is set in Alaska, in the town of Barrow. In winter, when sunlight does not reach there for a month, the residents leave for other areas. Some, however, must stay to ensure the normal operation of the town. Among them is Sheriff Eben (Josh Hartnett) and his wife Stella (Melissa George). It soon becomes apparent that during the prevailing darkness, vampires go on a bloody hunt.

18. “I Am Legend” (2007) – directed by Francis Lawrence

the best movies about vampires - I am a Legend

I Am Legend” is a post-apocalyptic depiction of a world decimated by a deadly epidemic. An unknown virus turns people into vampires. A lucky surviving scientist, Robert Neville (Will Smith), tries to survive with his faithful dog and develop a vaccine at the same time. During the day he kills the beasts hiding in a desolate New York City, and at night he hides from them himself.

19. “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” (2003) – directed by Stephen Norrington

most popular vampire movies - the league of axtraordinary gentlemen

“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” is another movie with a vampiric theme. This unique mysterious organization is made up of extremely peculiar characters: mine explorer King Solomon (Sean Connery), vampire Mina Harker (Peta Wilson), an invisible man (Tony Curran), special task agent Dorian Gray (Stuart Townsend) and Dr. Jekyll (Jason Flemyng). Together with Captain Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah), the team departs on his submarine for Venice, where the dreaded Phantom is about to make a bloody assassination attempt.

20. “Doctor Sleep” (2019) – directed by Mike Flanagan

most popular vampire films - Doctor Sleep

“Doctor Sleep” is a continuation of the plot of the famous “The Shining. The main character of the film is Dan Torrence (Ewan McGregor), the son of the possessed Jack. Now a grown man, he has to struggle with his unique telepathic abilities. One day Rose (Rebecca Ferguson), a girl gifted with similar powers, stands in his way. Dan, being aware of the existence of the True Knot sect, seeking children of a supernatural nature for their rituals, wants to protect his friend from the danger that threatens her.

21. “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” (2014) – by Ana Lily Amirpour

list of vampire movies - girl walks home alone at night

The movie is set in Iran, in the town of Bad City. The place is a hotbed of evil – crime flourishes here and moral corruption reigns. At night the residents are attacked by a vampire in a chador – (Sheila Vand). One day a handsome and honest young man (Arash Marandi) stands in her way.

22.”Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust” (2000) – directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri

list of vampire films - Vampire Hunter D

“Vampire Hunter D” is an anime movie. The main character is a vampire hunter who himself has a vampire background. D receives an assignment from the father of a girl kidnapped by the bloodthirsty Meier Link. He is to free the girl or inflict her death. However, he soon discovers that the version of events presented to him is not entirely true.

23. “Van Helsing” (2004) – directed by Stephen Sommers

25 great vampire films - Van Helsing

The movie is set in the 19th century. Professor Abraham Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) is a famous monster hunter. One day he receives an order from the Vatican itself to annihilate a dangerous vampire living in Transylvania with his bloodthirsty partners. So he sets off for the ends of Europe, where he will face the menacing Count Dracula (Richard Roxburgh) with the help of the beautiful Anna (Kate Beckinsale).

24. “Fright Night” (2011) – directed by Craig Gillespie

good vampire movies - Fright Night

A teenager, Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin), begins to observe his new neighbor Jerry (Collin Farrell) and soon comes to the conclusion that the handsome man, who is extremely popular with women, really is a dangerous vampire. And worst of all, even the hero’s mother (Toni Collette) is fascinated by him.

25. ”What We Do in the Shadows” (2014) – directed by Jemaine Clement/Taika Waititi

Scary vampire movies - What do we do in the shadows

“What We Do in the Shadows” is a genre hybrid shot in the style of a paradocumentary. Journalists want to show the life of vampires in the modern world and shoot a report on several individuals living in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. The documentary highlights the hilarious adventures and problems that bloodsuckers have to deal with in the modern world. They include Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), Viago (Taika Waititi) and Anton (Rhys Darby).