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Top 20 Vampire Movies of All Time

Updated on April 22, 2015

What Are My Top 20 Vampire Movies of All Time??

Being a big fan of the vampire genre, I decided to put together a list of what I consider to be the Top 20 Vampire Movies of All Time. I know that this particular genre has its share of fans, and fanatics, so please note that this is obviously a subjective list based on my own personal preferences.

Further, while I pride myself on having seen a heck of a lot of movies, especially in the horror genre, given that there have been hundreds (if not thousands) of vampire movies over the years, I freely admit that I have not seen them all. So, please don't take offense if your particular favorite did not make my list. While it is probable that I saw it and just did not enjoy it as much as you (which is why you will find no "Twilight" movies on my list (I gave up after seeing how bad the first two were). Uh oh, I can feel the hate already), it is also possible that I simply have not seen your personal favorite, and you may want to leave me a comment suggesting I check it out, and why you think I would like it.

Some of the factors that I took into account in creating this list, in no specific order of importance, are:

1) Originality - Was the film original, and/or did it bring something new or provide a different take on the genre?

2) Status - Has the film reached any type of iconic or cult classic status within the genre?

3) Fear factor - How scary was the movie? Obviously this factor only applies to some of the movies, since some of the films on my list are comical in nature and/or more action movie oriented. Although many of the best vampire films manage to successfully mix and balance horror, and action, with some comedy.

4) Watchability - This is really two factors in one: (a) Is it a movie that I enjoy watching over and over (i.e., does it have rewatchability?), and (b) is it still watchable after a number of years, or does it feel dated or overly campy? These two things are probably the most important factors in my mind.

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"She lives beyond the grace of God, a wanderer in the outer darkness. She is "vampyr", "nosferatu". These creatures do not die like the bee after the first sting, but instead grow strong and become immortal once infected by another nosferatu. So, my friends we fight not one beast but legions that go on age after age after age, feeding on the blood of the living." . . . Prof. Abraham Van Helsing

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Abbott&CostelloMeetFrankenstein.jpg

# 20. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Cast: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lon Chaney, Jr., Bela Lugosi, Glenn Strange, Lenore Aubert, Jane Randolph

Why It's #20: Unlike some people who grew up fans of the Three Stooges or Laurel and Hardy, I always loved Abbott and Costello movies. My brother and I use to watch them on Saturday afternoons when we were kids, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein was by far the best, because not only did it have Abbott and Costello, but it also had all our favorite monsters. Similar to "The Monster Squad," this movie doesn't just have Count Dracula, but also includes Frankenstein's monster and the Wolf Man. The difference is that this movie had the added bonus of actually getting the classic actors Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr., and Glenn Strange, to play their iconic roles. The great thing about this movie is that, while it includes the usual Abbott and Costello gags, with Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr., and Glenn Strange, it manages to be funny without denigrating the monsters, as they were all played with the same menace as when the actors played them in their original classic films.

Nosferatu.jpg
Nosferatu.jpg

# 19. Nosferatu (1922)

Cast: Max Schreck, Gustav V. Wangenheim, Greta Schroder, Alexander Granach, Georg H. Schnell, Ruth Landshoff, John Gottowt

Why It's #19: This 1922 silent classic is an unauthorized take on Bram Stoker's Dracula, with names and some details changed (no doubt to try to avoid a copyright lawsuit). The iconic nature of "Nosferatu" ensured it a place on my list, although I'm sure I will get some heated comments for not having this one closer to the top (if not, at the top) of my list. Well, it wouldn't be on my list at all if I didn't think that it was a great film. As far as scary vampires go, Max Schreck's portrayal of "Count Orlock" may be at the top of any list (right up there with Mr. Barlow from "Salem's Lot"), and I have to admit that the silent nature of the movie did add to the creepiness. However, as far as rewatchability goes, I am not really a fan of silent films (in fact, this is the only one that I have been able to sit through completely), and while I definitely recommend all fans of the genre see this classic at least once, as far as repeat viewings go, it is definitely not going to spend a lot of time cycling through my instant watch Netflix queue.

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# 18. The Forsaken (2001)

Cast: Kerr Smith, Brendan Fehr, Izabella Miko, Johnathon Schaech, Phina Oruche, Simon Rex

Why It's #18: "The Forsaken" is one of those underrated surprise gems that you pick up at the video store on a whim, or stumble across on cable late one night. Despite the lack of box office success, this movie actually has a good story, decent acting, and some great scenes (particularly one including a scary rendition of Mettalica's "Enter Sandman" by Johnathon Schaech, who is great as the lead vampire), but what I liked best was its original take on the vampire origins. The movie describes it beginning with a group of French Knights who, during the First Crusade, made a pact with a demon in exchange for immortality, and who were turned into the eight original vampires known as the "Forsaken." Over the course of history, four of the eight Forsaken have been killed, but four still remain (with one in Europe, one in Africa, and two in the U.S.). The movie tells the story of a guy driving cross-country, who picks up a hitchhiker, who is hunting a pack of vampires being led by one of the two Forsaken in the U.S., to try to cure himself of the vampire strain that he has been infected with before it completely turns him. The end of this movie (with three members of the "Forsaken" still remaining) set up perfectly for a sequel, which unfortunately was never made.

# 17. Stake Land (2010)

Cast: Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Sean Nelson, Michael Cerveris, Kelly McGillis, Danielle Harris, Bonnie Dennison

Why It's #17: "Stake Land" is one of the newer films on my list, which after a few more viewings will probably make its way farther up my rankings. I had read a few good independent reviews about this film, which involves a journey through a post-apocalyptic vampire pandemic ravaged United States, and decided to check it out, and was really glad I did. There are usually a few rules that most horror movies generally abide by, which is you never kill off kids or pregnant women. In a demonstration of how savage and brutal the vampires are in this movie, "Stake Land" breaks both those rules in about the first 10 minutes. After a teenager named Martin is left orphaned when vampires slaughter his family, he is rescued and later trained by the mysterious vampire hunter known only as "Mister." While I'm not usually a big fan of vampire movies that treat vampirism as having a viral, rather than supernatural origin, I liked how in this movie there were different strains of vampires, some of which are faster and harder to kill than others (the main characters run into one particularly dangerous strain of blood suckers nicknamed "berserkers"). I also liked how the film depicted that after an apocalypse some humans would be just as dangerous, if not more so, than the vampires, including an ultra-religious militia group called "The Brotherhood," who believed and welcomed the plague as the Lord's work. The cast is good, although made up of mostly unknowns, with the exception of Kelly McGillis (looking quite a bit worse for wear since her "Top Gun" days), and scream queen Danielle Harris. This visceral post-apocalyptic journey through a vampire wasteland is definitely a must watch for all fans of the genre.

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Vampires.jpg

# 16. Vampires (1998)

Cast: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee, Thomas Ian Griffith, Maximillian Schell, Tim Guinee

Why It's #16: Okay, I'm a big fan of John Carpenter movies, but let's face it, he kind of ran out of gas in the mid to late eighties. Pretty much after gems like "Big Trouble In Little China" and "They Live," he started firing out turds like "Village of the Damned" and "Escape From L.A." That is until the late nineties, when he decided to take a turn at making a kick-ass vampire/western movie about a Vatican sanctioned team of vampire hunters. The team of vampire hunters are led by Jack Crow, who, after his parents were killed by vampires, was raised and trained by the Catholic Church to be their master slayer. Crow is played by James Woods, who, while not known for playing bad assess, does a fantastic job here in a departure from his usual roles. Thomas Ian Griffith plays the savage master vampire, Valek, who, in one of the film's best scenes, takes out the majority of Crow's slayer squad with little effort. The action and violence in this film are reminiscent of one of Carpenter's earliest films, "Assault on Precinct 13," and it definitely belongs on any list of best Carpenter films, or vampire movies.

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#15. Afflicted (2014)

Cast: Derek Lee, Cliff Prowse, Baya Rehaz

Why It's #15: Okay, I usually don't add movies to any of my lists after one viewing, but I just watched "Afflicted" on demand, and I was so impressed with this new and original take on the vampire genre, I had to add it to my Top 20 List right away. The plot revolves around two friends, Derek and Cliff, who decide to film their around the world trip for a blog series, which they decide to go on after Derek is diagnosed with a life threatening illness. The trip, which starts out pretty uneventful, takes a turn for the weird after Derek goes home with a girl he meets in a bar, wakes up looking like she attacked him, and starts exhibiting some strange symptoms that start to point to vampirism. While the movie is in the fairly commonly used "found footage" style, it does not have the typical and sometimes vomit inducing camera shakiness that seems to plague a lot of these movies. In fact the film was so surprisingly clear and crisp that the "found footage" aspect, which is shot from Derek's perspective a lot of the time, actually enhances many of the action scenes.

For those of you that saw and enjoyed the movie "Chronicle," the quality here is comparable, and there were some scenes that actually reminded me of that film, particularly some of the scenes when Derek begins testing out some of his new found abilities (i.e., super strength, speed, jumping ability), which he is enjoying before the hunger really sets in. While not particularly scary, the movie did have a few good scenes that will make you jump. The original aspect of the movie really comes from watching how the two main characters go through and deal with Derek's eventual transformation over the course of their travels to different countries, and Derek's eventual hunt for the girl that "afflicted" him. The fact that they actually filmed in Barcelona, Paris, and Cinque Terre, Italy, also added to the authenticity and quality of the film. I was also impressed to learn that, in addition to starring in the movie, the actors who played the two main characters, also wrote and directed the film, which could not have been easy. Fans of the genre should definitely check this one out, which is definitely a nice departure from the usual "romanticized" vampire schlock, or pure action oriented vamp films that we have been treated to lately (and stick around through the credits for an added twist and possible sequel set up).

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UnderworldEvolution.jpg

# 14. Underworld: Evolution (2006)

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Sophia Myles, Tony Curran, Steven Mackintosh, Derek Jacobi

Why It's #14: This second chapter in the Underworld series picks up immediately following the first film, and takes the action to the next level. This film explains the origins of the Vampire and Lycan clans, and introduces us to the frightening vampire elder, Markus, who is also the progenitor of the vampire species. However, after being awakened with Lycan blood, Markus becomes an even more powerful hybrid of the two species, like Michael's character in the first film. Selene and Michael have to race to stop Markus from freeing his brother William, who is the progenitor of the Lycan clan. This movie has non-stop action, and manages to successfully build on the Vampire/Lycan mythology that was introduced in the first film. The visual effects are also top-notch, especially those used to show Markus flying, and the fight sequences, particularly the climactic battle between Selene and Michael against Markus and William, are fantastic. While some horror films take a steep drop in quality in their sequels that is absolutely not the case here (and you can really never go wrong with more Kate Beckinsale in tight leather outfits!!).

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BladeII.jpg

# 13. Blade II (2002)

Cast: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Pearlman, Norman Reedus, Leonor Varela, Luke Goss

Why It's #13: "Blade II" is a fantastic sequel to the introduction to our favorite Daywalker. While "Blade" sits higher on my list because of its originality and importance in ushering in the new era of great comic book movies, Blade II is in some ways a superior film. The sequel ups the ante in almost every way. The story introduces Nomak, the carrier of a new even scarier strain of vampirism (called the "Reaper" strain) that makes its carriers much deadlier and harder to kill than the common vampires that we were introduced to in the original film. We also get to see the Blood Pack, a group of tougher badass vampires (including the great Ron Perlman), who were formed and trained to bring Blade down, but end up having to team up with him to hunt down Nomak (since the Reaper infected vampires feed on the regular vampires). The action in the sequel is just as good as, if not better than, the original, and includes two incredible fight sequences between Blade and Nomak that have to be seen to be believed. The addition of Norman Reedus (pre-"Walking Dead") as Blade's new gadget guy, Scud, was also a great casting choice. It's just a shame that the first two Blade films were so good, but then were left stained by the crapfest that was "Blade: Trinity."

If You Haven't Seen It . . .

Let The Right One In

"Let The Right One In" - Cast: Kare Hedbrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl, Karin Bergquist, Peter Carlberg, Ika Nord

Let Me In


"Let Me In" - Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Cara Buono, Elias Koteas, Sasha Barrese, Dylan Kenin

Why It's #12: I know that I am probably going to take a ration of sh*t for grouping the American version of this film together with the original Swedish version. The Swedish version has quickly become a cult classic and critically acclaimed by fans of the genre. However, I tend to favor the American version, so I felt the need to include them together on my list. Both films tell the same story of a young bullied kid who befriends the new young girl next door, who helps him gain confidence and eventually helps him with his bully problem, but who turns out to be an immortal creature of the night, stuck in the body of a child. There are many scenes in both films that are nearly identical. The biggest differences to me, and where I believe the American version is a bit superior, is that "Let Me In" has better production value, including better effects, and moves at a slightly faster pace than the Swedish version. Both films deliver some scary moments, and interesting twists, and are well acted. Although I admit, in regards to the little vampire girl next door, my bias leans towards the portrayal of Abby by Chloe Grace Moretz, who also played Hit Girl in "Kick Ass," which is another favorite character and movie of mine. Finally, given the choice between watching a movie in English or a foreign subtitled film, the latter is going to lose out the majority of the time. Regardless, both are great films that belong on this list, and I recommend checking them both out to fans of the genre, and decide for yourself which one you like better. Alright, feel free to send the hate now!

FrightNight.jpg
FrightNight.jpg

# 11. Fright Night (1985)

Cast: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Roddy McDowall, Amanda Bearse, Stephen Geoffreys, Jonathan Stark

Why It's #11: When teenager Charley Brewster, realizes his new neighbor, Jerry Dandridge, is a vampire and is murdering call girls next door, he has to team up with T.V. vampire hunter, Peter Vincent, when no else will believe him. This is a classic 80's teen horror film, which actually pre-dated "The Lost Boys" and "Near Dark," and that I have seen more times than I can count (the recent remake, which I also liked, got me to go back and watch this one again). While it does have a few campy moments and a couple cheesy scenes (the nightclub dance scene makes me cringe a bit), the movie is good enough to overcome any minor faults, mostly because it has a great vampire played by Chris Sarandon. Sarandon is a good actor, who has had two classic movie roles (Prince Humperdinck in "The Princess Bride" being the other), and he absolutely steals this movie as Jerry Dandridge, the smooth, but deadly, vampire neighbor (I also loved his cameo in the recent remake). Roddy McDowall is also good as the initially skeptical vampire hunter, Peter Vincent, and I also liked Stephen Geoffreys, as Charley's somewhat annoying and geeky best friend, "Evil Ed." "Oh Brewster, you're soo cool!!"

Lust at First Bite!!

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SalmaHayekFDTD.jpg

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Dracula.com
Dracula.com

# 10. Dracula (1931)

Cast: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloane

Why It's #10: I don't think the inclusion of this film in my top 10, necessitates much of an explanation. When most people hear the word vampire or the name Dracula, the picture that usually forms in their head is that of Bela Lugosi playing Count Dracula in this classic 1930s original. Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula is iconic, and, while "Nosferatu" predates "Dracula," this is the vampire movie that really kicked off the genre. I just watched it again recently, and found it amazing how well this film still holds up after 80 years. Needless to say if you have not seen this classic at least once, then you are probably not a real fan of the genre.

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InterviewWithAVampire.jpg

# 9. Interview with the Vampire (1994)

Cast: Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, Kirsten Dunst, Thandie Newton

Why It's #9: Based on the novel by Anne Rice, this movie tells the story of a vampire named Louis, who was turned by Lestat in the late 1700s, and chronicles their time together. This movie not only tells a great story, but it boasts an incredible cast, including stars Brad Pitt as Louis and Tom Cruise as Lestat, plus Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, and Kirsten Dunst in supporting roles. I read that Anne Rice initially was upset when the studio chose Cruise to play Lestat, who was just not who she had pictured for the role, but for all of Cruise's craziness (see Scientology and jumping the couch), he is indisputably a great actor, and Rice ended up sending him an apology after the film's release. Given its critical and box office success, I will never understand why these stars were not immediately locked down by the studio with contracts to star in future adaptations of Rice's other novels starring Lestat. Instead all we ever got was the mediocre "Queen of the Damned," which did not bring back any of the original actors, and the only success it claimed, was to successfully kill off what could have been a great movie franchise all together.

NearDark.jpg
NearDark.jpg

# 8. Near Dark (1987)

Cast: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein, Tim Thomerson, Joshua John Miller

Why It's #8: Long before Director Kathryn Bigelow was winning an Oscar for directing "The Hurt Locker," she co-wrote and directed this horror film about a young farm boy who, after meeting the wrong girl, falls in with a pack of nomadic vampires. The movie actually has the feel of a Western, and curiously never uses the word "vampire," in the entire film. It also boasts a great cast, which includes Lance Henriksen, as the leader of the pack, who utters the great line when asked his age: "Let's put it this way: I fought for the South." The cast also includes Bill Paxton as the wild and deadly Severin (who packs a deadly set of spurs), and Jenette Goldstein. These three actors were fresh off the set of "Aliens," which was released a year earlier, and were joined by a young Adrian Pasdar (pre-"Heroes"), and the beautiful 80's star Jenny Wright (St. Elmo's Fire, Out of Bounds, Lawnmower Man). While the film was not a box office success, no doubt because of the timing of its release coming on the heels of "The Lost Boys," it has since reached cult classic status.

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BramStoker'sDracula.jpg

# 7. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Cast: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Carey Elwes, Billy Campbell, Monica Bellucci

Why It's #7: Francis Ford Coppola is one of the best directors of our time, and he proves it here with his masterful retelling of the Dracula novel by Bram Stoker. This movie is visually stunning, and includes an incredible cast (okay, with the exception of Keanu Reeves). Gary Oldman does a fantastic job as Count Dracula (in all his forms). His older form was genuinely creepy, while his younger form, trying to reunite with his lost love, was actually sympathetic. Anthony Hopkins was perfect as the brilliant vampire hunter, Professor Abraham Van Helsing. I also really liked how the film managed to work in the story of Vlad "the Impaler" Teppes into the Dracula origin. With all due respect to the original Bela Lugosi version, Coppola's gothic tale is easily the best iteration of the Dracula story to date.

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Salem'sLot.jpg

# 6. Salem's Lot (1979)

Cast: David Soul, James Mason, Lance Kerwin, Bonnie Bedilia, Geoffrey Lewis, Lew Ayres

Why It's #6: "Salem's Lot" almost did not make my list because technically it was a television mini-series, and not a movie, but luckily it was later edited down and given a limited theatrical release in Europe, and the theatrical cut was later released on video in the U.S. I say luckily because this Tobe Hooper directed mini-series/film based on a Stephen King novel, is one of the scariest vampire films of all time and deserves to be near the top of any great vampire movie list. The story revolves around a writer who returns to his hometown of Jerusalem's Lot, to find that the citizens are being turned into vampires, by the town's newest resident, Mr. Barlow, who also happens to live in the creepiest house this side of the "Pyscho" house. The vampires in "Salem's Lot," including Mr. Barlow, are some of the scariest ever filmed, and one scene in particular, involving a young vampire scratching and floating outside a window in billowing fog, still gives me chills. While I recommend the mini-series over the theatrical cut, either one is a must see for all vampire movie fans.

Pray for Daylight!!

Mr.Barlow.jpg
Mr.Barlow.jpg

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FromDuskTillDawn.jpg

# 5 . From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Cast: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Fred Williamson, Tom Savini

Why It's #5: Coincidentally "From Dusk Till Dawn", which was based on a screenplay by Quentin Tarantino, also comes in at #5 on my Top 10 list of best Quentin Tarantino movies. Only Tarantino could manage to successfully combine a "heist" film and a "vampire" flick, and I really enjoyed Tarantino's collision of the two genres. Like most Tarantino movies, this film delivers some great lines and classic dialogue throughout, and both George Clooney and Tarantino were great in their respective portrayals of the bank robbing Gecko brothers. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this movie included one of the earliest onscreen appearances of the gorgeous and voluptuous Salma Hayek, who played the scantily clad stripper/vampire queen, Santanico Pandemonium, and performed an unforgettable stage dance with a giant snake, which alone would justify putting this movie in any list of best vampire movies.

Underworld.jpg
Underworld.jpg

# 4. Underworld (2003)

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Sophia Myles, Kevin Grevioux

Why It's #4: "Underworld," which involves an intricately detailed vampire-werewolf (a.k.a. "Lycans") centuries long feud and mythology, would also rank near the top of any "best of" werewolf movie list (hey, an idea for another lens!). The film sports an incredible European Gothic visual style, and is filled with a great cast of British actors. The beautiful and icy Kate Beckinsale, plays the "Death Dealer" Selene, who, in a twist on "Romeo & Juliet," finds herself attracted to the newly bitten Lycan, Michael Korvin, played by Scott Speedman, who later becomes the first vampire/lycan hybrid. Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen are both fantastic in their respective roles as Viktor, the powerful elder vampire clan leader, and Lucian, the leader of the thought to be nearly extinct Lycan clan. The movie is action packed and includes some incredible fight sequences between vampires and lycans, particularly the final battle between Viktor and Selene, and the newly transformed hybrid, Michael, in which someone literally loses their head.

Blade.jpg
Blade.jpg

# 3. Blade (1998)

Cast: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Sanaa Lathan, Stephen Dorff, Donal Logue, N'Bushe Wright, Traci Lords

Why It's #3: Wesley Snipes kicks some serious vampire ass, as the half-human, half-vampire hybrid, Blade (aka "The Daywalker"), who, with all due respect to "Buffy," is the baddest-ass vampire slayer to ever grace the silver screen. "Blade" was the first successful comic book film to follow in the wake of such mega flops as "Batman and Robin" and "Steel," and paved the way for Marvel Comics to begin adapting their higher profile and higher budget properties like X-Men and Spiderman, which is why this movie is also on my Top 20 list of Best Comic Movies of All time too. This movie has the perfect mix of action and horror, and combines techno and hip-hop music with incredible fight sequences, which makes this movie incredibly fun to watch over and over. The opening scene, where Blade makes his first appearance at a vampire feeding party, which is disguised as an underground rave, hosted by Traci Lords, is still one of my all-time favorites.

If You Haven't Seen It . . .

30DaysofNight.jpg
30DaysofNight.jpg

# 2. 30 Days of Night (2007)

Cast: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Amber Sainsbury, Mark Boone Junior, Mark Rendall

Why It's #2: "30 Days of Night," which was based on a graphic novel of the same name, quickly became one of my favorite vampire movies of all time, with its original premise of a pack of vampires attacking an isolated Alaskan town as it goes into its 30-day long polar night. At the time this movie came out, it was the first vampire movie I had seen in a long time that was actually scary. I really liked the idea of the vampires methodically sending in a human scout (who was played to creepy perfection by Ben Foster) to sabotage all the means of communication and transportation before they showed up. Then there is the vampires themselves, who are truly creepy with their distorted faces and razor-like teeth. I also liked how they are not subtle when they show up, but appear more like a force of nature determined to wipe this town off the map. The use of a fictional language made up of strange "click" like sounds for the vampires to communicate, was a nice touch, and added to the vampires' overall creepiness. The cold weather claustrophobic feel of this film has made it a favorite (along with John Carpenter's "The Thing") among my friends for late night watching during ski trips.

If You Haven't Seen It . . .

TheLostBoys.jpg
TheLostBoys.jpg

# 1. The Lost Boys (1987)

Cast: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Corey Feldman

Why It's #1: "The Lost Boys" is an iconic piece of 80's cinema, and has to be considered the Holy Grail of teen vampire films. Having grown up in the 80's, this movie, along with its classic soundtrack, has become one of those movies that I will watch anytime it is on. It has just the right mix of horror and comedy (not too campy), and delivers some great scenes ("How do those maggots taste, Michael?") and classic lines ("Death by stereo!"). This film also has a great cast, led by a young Kiefer Sutherland, who perfectly plays David, the mysterious leader of a local gang that turns out to be a pack of young vampires, who terrorize the residents of Santa Carla (a fictional California beach town). Maybe its the nostalgia factor, but whenever discussing my favorite vampire movies it always comes back to "The Lost Boys." "One thing about living in Santa Carla that I never could stomach ... all the damn vampires."

If You Haven't Seen It Yet . . .

Agree or Disagree? Pick It Yourself.

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BelaVampire.jpg

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      Robert Sacchi 8 months ago

      I enjoyed reading this Hub. I have seen most of these movies. Is there any reason the Hammer films didn't make the cut?

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      Kalin Donavan 10 months ago

      Although Marlow from 30 days of night was a favorite, I really feel that the Cult Leader turned Vampire from Stakeland was hands down the most terrifying vampire especially considering what he did to the pregnant girl in the movie. It was almost too disturbing to watch. The 2nd one not on the list that should be there is the Vampire chick in the first V/H/S movie that flies off with her prey at the bottom of the hotel stair case. That was very unnerving.

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      kotobukijake 3 years ago

      Very interesting list. I was initially surprised to see a "Top 20" list for great vampire films, but you did manage to stock it with an assemblage of films that managed to surprise me rather than bore me. Granted, I am not a big horror fan in general, and I've made a middling effort to seek out vampire films, but I do believe several of the above films are indeed classics. Let the Right One In is freakin' awesome, and decidedly superior to Let Me In, but I give the latter mad props for being an American remake of a foreign film that was a great film in its own right. I also cannot list Nosferatu or Dracula (1931) at the top of my list for almost the exact reasons you note, but they are INDISPUTABLE classics. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) and Interview with the Vampire are both great films that could have been better with more attention paid to casting (the fact that I've read and quite enjoyed Stoker's novel also works against Coppola's film, though Gary Oldman's portrayal of Dracula is well-nigh iconic). Also, From Dusk til Dawn grows on me with each viewing, and props for including an Abbott and Costello classic. However, there were a few unfortunate omissions. I agree with the commentator who suggested Cronos--on a Top 20 list it must make the cut, though it is such a strange take on vampirism I admit I have trouble even thinking of it in this light. I also LOVED Shadow of the Vampire, which again would make the cut if only for originality (luckily, the excellent writing, direction, camerawork, etc., not to mention Willem Dafoe's AWESOME portrayal of Max Schreck and John Malkovich's even scarier take on director F.W. Murnau, all make this a truly classic film). Finally Chan-Wok Park's intriguing Korean drama Thirst easily makes my cut for best vampire films; if you have not seen it, I daresay you'd get into it. I'm sure I'll think of another one before the day is over, but I guess that just proves that the genre DOES have plenty to choose from after all. Enjoyable hub, and I'll have to check out some others.

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      patstar11 3 years ago

      Lost Boys at #1!? NO WAY. Also, I'm a purist that dislikes vampires who use weaponry on such lists as this; these films belong on a best action movies list. You're right on the money in citing the frequently frequently overlooked original ( I thought the remake with Rob Lowe ultimately really sucked) TV film Salem's Lot as having among the scariest vampires ever. So--how did you overlook TV's original film The Nightstalker, with Barry Atwater's chilling silent (no dialogue) vampire? I also thought the very entertaining and funny film Innocent Blood could have been somewhere on your list. However, with the exception of things like your number 1 and the action flicks, a better list than quite a few that I've seen. (And John Carpenter's Vampires is great--should lower on your list--for all the reasons you mention; terrific cast too!)

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      Uttervoid 3 years ago

      Queen of the Damned is a very bad movie, but Stuart Townsend as Lestat is the hottest cinematic male vampire. I think that the best vampire film is Vampyr by Carl Theodor Dreyer.

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      MasterDripper 4 years ago

      Some really great movies here and I have seen most of them...I like Underworld at number 1, Underworld Evolution as 2 and From Dusk Till Dawn as 3...

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome lens

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      Kim 4 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      I've included thi sin my vampire lens only because you have Lost Boys @ Number one (but subtracting points because you have Bela Lugosi's dracula at #10 and actually have Stakeland on the list. but at least you have the first Blade in the top five (I HATE the 2nd one) but MOnster squad maybe be a bit cheesy (or kitsch?) but deserves a Top 10 nod. (monster Squad 10 Dracula @ least 5! coe on the man was buried in his cape! he portrayed the role to perfect.) (P.s. coming out with a dracula day lens on OCtober 20th! O that';s this coming saturday)

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      LabKittyDesign 4 years ago

      Let the Right One In was a great sleeper of a film (and the book is far more disturbing). You might also check out "Vampire's Kiss" - Nic Cage at his most unhinged!

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      Onemargaret LM 5 years ago

      Loved them!

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      Onemargaret LM 5 years ago

      I love vampire movies! Nice lens!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      What, no "Vamp"? Grace Jones was electrifying and creepy as hell as lead vampire/stripper Katrina. It also had a deft blend of horror and comedy, and great special effects.

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      Author

      Pierre Pine 5 years ago

      @sudokunut: Thanks. I have not seen Cronos yet, but have been looking for it. I do like Vamp (actually just watched it again a few months ago), but I just couldn't put it ahead of the other ones I picked. It also felt a bit dated when I just watched it, but I still liked it.

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      Mark Falco 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Great selections, you have all my favorites on here although I might have added Cronos (for originality) and maybe Vamp (for 80's quirkiness) to the list. The Forsaken and Stake Land slipped past me so thanks for the recommendations, I just threw them onto my Netflix queue.

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      Boo-strGld 5 years ago

      Nice lens! Nice call on "The Lost Boys," and thanks for the tip on "Stake Land." I will have to check that out.

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      MarkLim81 5 years ago

      Good to see the Table of Contents up! :)

      Am I the only one who thinks the guy on the Stake Land poster looks a lot like the bad guy from MIB 3?

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      kburns421 lm 5 years ago

      THANK YOU for what you said about "Queen of the Damned." It was just... bad. I mean, the movie itself was OK, but it's horrible as an adaptation of the book and a sequel to "Interview." It probably could've been a successful movie series, but I'm happy with the fact that it wasn't, quite honestly. It'd be hard to keep all the movies up to par with the books the way the first one was. Anyway, very nice lens. You sure didn't leave anything out!