Thirteen Vampire Films Worth Watching (As Opined by Michelle Snow) #vampires #horrorfilmlists

Thirteen Vampire Films Worth Watching (As Opined by Michelle Snow)

This is a list of thirteen films that I feel set the bar for all vampire films. All are available on DVD.

These undead creatures of the night are terrifying to some and enticing to others. Stake them, slice off their head, douse them in holy water or expose them to sunlight – just don’t get bit.

Some like their vampire films super gory and others prefer a more sensual, less violent bloodtaker. Whatever the preference, these ten films are among the tops of the genre.

In alphabetical order:

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30 Days of Night (2007)

Mix a small town in Alaska with a month of permanent darkness and a marauding band of blood-thirsty Russian vampires and you have a recipe for extreme gore and mayhem in the name of all that’s fang-ly. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, this film stars Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston and Ben Foster.

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Fright Night (1985)

One of the 80s best creature of the night films. When a teenager learns that his next door neighbor is a vampire, no one will believe him. The vampire finds out he knows and starts to toy with him. It’s a bit schlocky, but still fun. This film stars Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall and Stephen Geoffreys. The Fright Night (2011) remake is ok, but not nearly as good as this (though Colin Farrell is a scarier vampire, and David Tennant as Van Helsing steals the show).

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From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Robert Rodriguez directed this masterpiece that combines serial killers, a minister’s family, biker gangs and a horde of Mexican vampires into a rowdy horror film. George Clooney, Quentin Tarentino, Juliette Lewis, Harvey Keitel and Salma Hayek are among the stars of this cult-hit movie. Skip the sequels, though, because they suck, and not in a good way.

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Horror of Dracula (1958)

Christopher Lee is one of the all-time best Draculas and this film has him battling against Peter Cushing’s Van Helsing. A classic vampire movie, with very little gore.

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Interview with the Vampire (1994)

The first of Anne Rice’s vampire novels to hit the screen, this big budget effort stars Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Kirsten Duns, Christian Slater and Antonio Banderas. A very stylish and sensual, yet creepy, take on the book.

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John Carpenter’s Vampires (1998)

John Carpenter directed, and James Woods stars in, this film about vampire hunters in the southwest U.S. who must find an ancient artifact before the master vamp does. As the film progresses, the hunters become the hunted and lots of blood is spilled.

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Let The Right One In (2008)

This Swedish hit centers on a bullied 12-yr old boy named Oskar. He falls in love with a young girl named Eli, who gives helps him stand up to his tormentors. Then he realizes she has a secret – she’s a vampire. There is an American remake if foreign language films aren’t your thing, called Let Me In, but I think the Swedish version is a bit more creepy.



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The Lost Boys (1987)

A young lad moves with his mom and older brother to the sunny seaside town of Santa Carla and discovers his eccentric grandfather is the least of his problems. By today’s standards, not particularly gory or overly scary, it’s still a classic vampire movie. This 80s film made quite a few of its cast into stars, including Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Jami Gertz and Kiefer Sutherland.

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Night Watch (2004)

In this Russian film, the forces of Light and Dark battle it out in the first of a book trilogy adaptation that was never completed. Those who fight for the dark are never called vampires out right, but they have all the qualities of the creatures of the night, down to drinking blood. Do yourself a favor and see it subtitled rather than dubbed – the Russian language adds a nice layer to the film’s mood.

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Near Dark (1987)

A mid-western farm boy reluctantly becomes a member of the undead when a girl he meets turns out to be part of a band of southern vampires who roam the highways in stolen cars. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow (who won an Oscar for The Hurt Locker), this film stars Adrian Pasdar, Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton.

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Nosferatu (1922)

If you want a classic vampire film, this silent masterpiece is the one to watch. It features one of the most memorable vampire performances from Max Shrek and set the template for many early-era horror films.

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Queen of the Damned (2002)

Based on another of Anne Rice’s vampire novels, this film tells the story of the queen of all vampires, Akasha, and her chosen consort, Lestat (also featured in Interview with the Vampire), who is now a world-famous rock star. The ending is totally changed from the book, but it’s still a good movie.

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Underworld (2003)

The human race is oblivious to the centuries-old war that exists between the aristocratic, sophisticated Vampires, and the brutal, feral Lycans (werewolves). But it all comes to a head when lead vampire warrior Selene discovers a human with a secret that could destroy both races. More an action film with monsters, this isn’t very scary, but it’s still very well done.

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All of these films are available on DVD as of the publication of this article. Many movie channels on TV also tend to show them, especially around Halloween. If you click on the title links, they take you to Amazon (purchases through those links help keep this site going – so thanks muchly if you buy something!).

Do you have a favorite scary vampire movie that I missed? Let me know in comments. I’d love to hear what your faves are!

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About zengrrl

I'm Michelle Snow, the writer and creator of Zengrrl. I write about travel, entertainment, women's issues, health, body positivity, and more, both for this blog and freelance. I have also authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. If you aren't already following me, the links are below, as well as on the top right of this page. Thanks!

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Comments: 4

  1. Melanie October 24, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I haven’t seen any of the movies on your list. Where have I been?! I love vampires, not Twilight so much, but I did follow Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I guess I need to see what’s on Netflix of these films so I can catch up.
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  2. Janeane Davis October 24, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I have only seen 6 of the movies on your list. My favorite line from these is from Lost Boys when the little brother tells the big brother, (Paraphrase) “You are a creature of the night oooooo, I’m telling mom.”
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  3. zengrrl October 24, 2013 at 8:17 am

    That is a good one Bella. =)

  4. Bella Vida Letty October 24, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I think my favorite vampire film is Bram Stokers Dracula.
    Bella Vida Letty wrote this post…Road Trip to Louisiana’s Romantic Antebellum Past on River RoadMy Profile