36 Phenomenal Vampire Films, Ranked

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These excellent vampire pictures certainly don’t suck.

With First Kill making waves on Netflix, What We Do in the Shadows imminently returning for its fourth season and Day Shift on the horizon, 2022 seems to have sneakily become a huge summer for fans of vampire fiction.


Netflix

Since vampires are having their moment right now, I thought it was only fitting to keep the summer of bloodsuckers going by assembling 36 of the best and boldest vampire movies of all time, which have been ranked for your viewing pleasure…

36.

Boys from County Hell


Shudder /Courtesy Everett Collection

This Irish horror-comedy surrounds a construction team that accidentally awakens a bloodthirsty local legend, Abhartach, and is tasked with neutralizing the threat before it tears through their small town.

35.

Daybreakers


Lions Gate / Courtesy Everett Collection

Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill, and Willem Dafoe costar in this horror/sci-fi hybrid that posits a world dominated by vampires in which a developer of synthetic blood is drawn into an underground movement after discovering a method of curing the vampiric condition.

34.

Jakob’s Wife


Amazon Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

From the mind of Travis Stevens, director of Girl on the Third Floor, Jakob’s Wife features horror icon Barbara Crampton as a minister’s wife who is emboldened with new agency and exciting new powers after being bitten by a vampire.

33.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night


Kino International / Courtesy Everett Collection

This stylish, slow-burn vampire western from visionary director Ana Lily Amirpour follows a lonely vampire who finds an unlikely romance with a desperate, impoverished man in a haunting Iranian ghost town.

32.

Vampires vs. The Bronx


Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Jaden Michael, Gerald W. Jones III, and Gregory Diaz IV star as a young trio of Bronx residents who put their lives on the line to prevent ruthless vampires from invading their neighborhood and bleeding their community dry.

31.

John Carpenter’s Vampires


Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

In one of his final feature films (to date), legendary horror master John Carpenter unleashed his gruesome and cynical tale starring James Woods as a vengeful vampire hunter and Twin Peaks‘ Sheryl Lee as his sole link to the uber-powerful vamp that single-handedly massacred his team.

30.

Byzantium


IFC Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

After crafting a stone-cold classic of the subgenre with Interview with the Vampire, director Neil Jordan turned to Moira Buffini’s A Vampire Story to inspire this underrated fright film featuring a cast of acting heavy hitters, including Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley, Jonny Lee Miller, and Tom Hollander. 

29.

Kiss of the Damned


Magnet Releasing / Courtesy Everett Collection

Xan Cassavetes’ seductive modern throwback to the Gothic euro-horror of yesteryear is as eerie and effective as it is sadly overlooked.

28.

Ganja & Hess


All-day Entertaiment / Courtesy Everett Collection

While Spike Lee’s remake (titled Da Sweet Blood of Jesus) may have a higher profile with today’s cinema buffs, Ganja & Hess is a seminal horror film for Black audiences and contains an utterly inimitable atmosphere that effortlessly crawls under your skin.

27.

Vamp


New World Pictures / Alamy

Grace Jones steals the show in this neon-soaked ’80s horror-comedy about fraternity brothers who attempt to hire a stripper from a seedy nightclub only to find themselves in a den of voluptuous vampires.

26.

Bliss


Dark Sky Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

Up-and-coming horror filmmaker Joe Begos shook up the vampire genre with this chaotic, punk rock story of a struggling, drug-addicted artist, played to perfection by Dora Madison, who takes a mysterious hallucinogenic drug that makes her experience violent fits of blood lust but has also seemingly renewed her creative edge.

25.

Innocent Blood


Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

John Landis may stand at the apex of the werewolf subgenre with An American Werewolf in London, but his SFX-heavy vampire film about an altruistic vamp and an undercover cop that take on the Pittsburgh mafia is certainly worthy of your attention as well.

24.

The Addiction


October Films / Prod DB / Alamy

New York filmmaking staple, Abel Ferrara, crafted this dramatically dense and patient vampire thriller about a graduate student (Lili Taylor) who must come to terms with her new code of existence after getting bitten by a vampire.

23.

Fright Night, Part II


Ronald Grant Archive / Mary Evans / Courtesy Everett Collection

Very hard to find via legal means in the US due to persistent rights issues, Fright Night, Part II is an extremely underrated sequel that works even better as a result of some inspired casting, including a hypnotic Julie Carmen as the lead vampire and a hilarious Jon Gries as her werewolf lackey.

22.

Let Me In


Overture Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

Matt Reeves’ English-language redo of Let the Right One In is incredibly good on its own merits, but the few scenes that ape its predecessor far too closely keep it from really becoming a gem of the subgenre.

21.

Blade


New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

Though it’s still fairly low on this particular list, Blade is nonetheless one of the most fun vampire-action movies ever made and, beyond that, is considered a pioneering production for Marvel movies.

20.

Afflicted


CBS Films via YouTube

Sadly released just shy of the found footage bubble bursting, Afflicted is a stellar film about two best friends, one of which is living with a potentially fatal illness, recording a travel blog when one is seemingly attacked by a woman, and begins to undergo a shocking physical transformation.

19.

Shadow of the Vampire


Lions Gate / Courtesy Everett Collection

Willem Dafoe was rightly nominated for an Academy Award as a fictionalized version of Max Schreck, who is a bona fide real vampire, as he terrorizes the production of F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu in this dark comedy masterpiece.

18.

Only Lovers Left Alive


c face to face / Entertainment Pictures / Alamy

Jim Jarmusch’s contemplative and quirky film about ancient vampires (Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton) attempting to find joy, comfort, and culture as they adapt to modern times won’t be for everybody but it might just be Jarmusch’s most popular film as its cult audience continues to grow.

17.

30 Days of Night


Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Based on Steve Niles’ beloved graphic novel, David Slade’s dark and deranged bloodfest follows a resilient group of survivors in an Alaskan town that is torn asunder by a pack of animalistic vampires during a monthlong sundown period.

16.

The Vampire Lovers


American International Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

While the Hammer Film Productions Dracula films are in a class unto themselves, The Vampire Lovers was a daring and dark highlight of their catalog anchored by a wonderfully unforgettable performance from Ingrid Pitt.

15.

Interview with the Vampire


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Though Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, and Christian Slater all add to the pedigree of this esteemed Anne Rice adaptation, it’s Kirsten Dunst’s breakthrough performance as a particularly volatile and manipulative child vampire that cements this film as a definitive American horror offering.

14.

Blade II


New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

It’s not often that a sequel can out-perform its predecessor, but with the likes of horror maestro Guillermo del Toro behind the camera, Blade II became an even more exciting, nastier, and somewhat Shakespearean entry into the Blade franchise.

13.

Habit


Glass Eye Pix via YouTube

Larry Fessenden’s nightmarish ’90s cult classic surrounds a bohemian musician who falls for a mysterious woman that he begins to suspect may be a vampire.

12.

Nosferatu


Courtesy Everett Collection / Film Arts Guild

F.W. Murnau’s breathtaking vampire film is not only the first of its kind, but its iconic imagery remains culturally significant 100 years later.

11.

The Hunger


MGM / Courtesy Everett Collection

Tony Scott may be best known for his kinetic and visually striking action films, but his descent into horror for this classy and dread-inducing fright flick is still a low-key highlight of his oeuvre. 

10.

Thirst


Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

South Korean filmmaking maverick Park Chan-wook offers a uniquely whimsical (and, ultimately, heartbreaking) perspective on the vampire mythos in this underrated yet undeniable horror story.

9.

Cronos


October Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

Guillermo del Toro’s directorial feature debut highlights a tour-de-force performance from Federico Luppi as a humble antiques dealer who is reluctantly turned into a vampire by a strange ancient object, which restores his youthful appearance and nature but comes with a seemingly insatiable thirst for blood.

8.

What We Do in the Shadows


The Orchard / Courtesy Everett Collection

Before the property was adapted into the critically and commercially successful FX series, What We Do in the Shadows was a groundbreaking horror comedy film that shot Taika Waititi onto Hollywood’s radar and further showcased the top-tier comedic timing of star Jemaine Clement.

7.

Dracula


Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Perhaps the most instantly recognizable vampire film, Dracula transformed Bela Lugosi’s long-running stage performance as the titular character into an icon of horror that is still homaged and spotlighted to this day.

6.

Let the Right One In


Magnolia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Tomas Alfredson’s macabre modern masterpiece follows a young boy who falls for his new neighbor, an empathetic yet incredibly dangerous centuries-old vampire stuck in the body of a young girl.

5.

From Dusk ‘Till Dawn


Dimension Films / Courtesy Everett Collection

Indie filmmaking darlings Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino teamed up for this brilliant and bloody bait-and-switch horror-thriller in which two fugitives and a family of hostages find themselves at a roadside bar in Mexico that doubles as the feeding ground for a temple of vampires.

4.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula


Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Gary Oldman will keep you glued to the screen with his petrifying lead performance in Francis Ford Coppola’s expensive yet acclaimed adaptation that firmly puts the “gore” in “gorgeous.”

3.

Fright Night (1985)


Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

A clever horror film that subverts every expectation and trope of the subgenre, Fright Night follows a meek suburban teenager who is convinced that his seductive and intimidating next-door neighbor is a vampire.

2.

Near Dark


De Laurentiis Group / Courtesy Everett Collection

Oscar-winning filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow reunited Aliens stars Jenette Goldstein, Lance Henriksen, and Bill Paxton in her first feature film, a visceral and unsettling vampire western romance about a young man who is accidentally turned by a beautiful young woman and forcibly inducted into her roaming family of sadistic bloodsuckers.

1.

The Lost Boys


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

There have been countless great vampire films and several mentioned above that could arguably compete for the throne, but there’s simply no vampire movie that feels as synonymous with the word and the subgenre as The Lost Boys, with Kiefer Sutherland’s roguish “David” possibly exhibiting the most identifiable vampire visage outside of the aforementioned Max Schreck and Bela Lugosi.



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