10 Best Vampire Movies of All Time

We narrowed down the best vampire movies ever made.

By Nathan Kamal | Updated

Throughout history, we have always been fascinated, repelled by, and/or scared of vampires, which is why there are a whole lot of movies about them. Some of the earliest silent film masterpieces were centered on the undead bloodsuckers, while in the present day, Disney is having to decide exactly how gory they will let Blade be. Vampire movies come in every genre and style of film, from horror to erotic to comedy, but we put together a list of the very best of them. Prepare to feast!

The Hunger (1983)

vampire movies


The Hunger is a film that takes the erotic aspect of vampires and turns the dial up to 11, making it not only one of the best vampire movies but one of the sexiest of the 1980s. In this Tony Scott film, French film legend Catherine Deneuve plays Miriam, an ancient vampire with a taste for converting human lovers to creatures of the night. 

However, when her most recent companion (David Bowie) begins to rapidly age despite consuming human blood, it becomes apparent there is more than there appears to her promises of eternal life. Enter Susan Sarandon as her latest prospective lover, and a complex, deadly love triangle is set.

The Hunger received mixed reviews on release, but has since become a beloved cult film for its highly stylized visuals and intense eroticism. While this is one of the more unusual entries on the list, it is absolutely not to be missed. 

Blade (1998)

wesley snipes blade


When the MCU was just Kevin Feige’s improbable pipedream, Blade kept the torch aflame for Marvel movies. Wesley Snipes played the Daywalker in three movies, beginning in 1998, but for now, we’ll focus on the first. The first Blade movie is a stylish, grim thriller of an action movie, elevated by the determined focus and real-life martial arts skill of Snipes. This is the movie that changed the idea of the eponymous half-human, half-vampire for a goofy 1970s also-ran to the epitome of comic book cool in a pair of shades.

It also helps that Blade (directed by Stephen Norrington) tapped into the same kind of black leather-and-vinyl cool as The Matrix would a year later, transforming stodgy vampires into millennial club kids. Plus, that sword will always be cool.

Interview with the Vampire (1994)


It is astonishing that a movie starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst, and Antonio Banderas as vampires could be relatively forgotten, but that is what has happened to Interview with the Vampire. The Neil Jordan-directed film certainly deserves better for its lush, stylish adaptation of Anne Rice’s best-selling novel.

Interview with the Vampire stars Brad Pitt as Louis de Pointe du Lac, an 18th-century plantation owner turned vampire by the dynamic, impulsive Lestat de Lioncourt, while Kirsten Dunst plays a child-turned-vampire, and Antonio Banderas plays the enigmatic leader of a coven of Parisian bloodsuckers. 

Over the course of the film, Pitt relays the story of his centuries spent in the shadows to a reporter (Christian Slater), who slowly comes around to the idea he might be talking to the real deal. However, as the movie makes clear, being immortal is not all it is chalked up to be.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

francis ford coppola


Bram Stoker’s Dracula was expected to be a colossal flop with it was released in 1992, given director Francis Ford Coppola’s notoriety for going massively over budget on epic films like Apocalypse Now and his painstaking perfectionist approach. However, vampire movies are always a good draw at the box office, and the dream-like, overheated adaption of the original 1897 was an enormous hit, grossing over $215 million worldwide.

Much of the must be due to the stellar cast of Keanu Reeves (hampered by a terrible attempt at an English accent, but still), Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, and Gary Oldman as the eponymous vampire himself. But it is also due to the re-envisioning of the story of Dracula as a doomed love story over the centuries, with the formerly devout Romanian warrior turning his back on God after the death of his wife.

In making Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Coppola attempted to use cinematic techniques that had fallen out of favor like iris wipes, rear-projection, and forced perspective. Although it was initially viewed with confusion, the unique look of this movie makes it stand out even among the very best vampire movies.

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)


We all know Nosferatu’s Count Orlok was played by a German theater actor named Max Schreck, but this movie posits… what if he wasn’t? Shadow of the Vampire is one of the least known but most fascinating of the vampire movies on this list, dramatizing the making of 1922’s Nosferatu, the original silent vampire film that kicked them all off. 

The film (directed by E. Elias Merhige) is something of a piece of historical fiction, presenting a scenario in which film director F.W. Murnau (John Malkovich) hires an actual vampire (Willem Dafoe in the role for which he was born) to play Orlok in his unlicensed adaptation of the novel Dracula. However, Murnau is the only one who knows there is an undead creature on set, which naturally leads to some bloody deaths.

Fun fact: the film was produced by Saturn Films, the production company belonging to Nicolas Cage, who originally intended to play the lawyer. However, it would take until 2023 until he got the chance truly play a vampire in Renfield.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

vampire movies


Filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night was touted as the first “Iranian vampire Western,” which is probably a title it did not have much competition for in the first place. This black-and-white film is slow and meditative, following a young man named Arash (Arash Marandi) as he struggles to take care of his drug-addicted father in a spookily desolate city. Meanwhile, an unnamed girl (Sheila Vand) dressed in a chador stalks the streets in search of bad men to exsanguinate.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a fascinating depiction of a vampire in movies, a character who seems on the surface as human as anyone; she skateboards, listens to music, and develops a crush, just like anyone. But should she come across a bad person on an empty street, that’s when the fangs come out.

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

vampire movies


As you might expect from the title, Only Lovers Left Alive is as much a love story as it is part of the canon of vampire movies. In Jim Jarmusch’s long-gestating film, Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) are a centuries-old married couple of vampires, who have sworn off murder and survive off blood smuggled from medical labs. One is in Detroit, the other in Tangiers, but both hide their existence from the world at large.

Only Lovers Left Alive is more consumed with the crushing weight of time than bloodshed, with these vampires being tormented by their impact on history compared to their anonymity. This isn’t one of your typical vampire movies, but it is fascinating and unique on its own merits.

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

vampire movies

Unquestionably the single funniest film on this list, What We Do in the Shadows is shot mockumentary-style and follows four vampires living as roommates in a small New Zealand suburb. Each of the vampires is clearly patterned on a cinematic trope of the undead, from Petyr (Ben Fransham) the Nosferatu, the Dracula-like Vladislav (co-writer Jemaine Clement), Deacon Brucke (basically the cool bad guy from Blade, played by Jonathan Brugh), and Viago (director Taika Waititi, apparently playing his mother).

The real joy of What We Do in the Shadows is the skewering of minor arguments, frustrations, and conflicts that any roommates will experience, but this time, it’s with violent, bloodsucking monsters. They might all be okay with murder, but there are house rules to be followed.

Nosferatu (1922)


The patient zero of all vampire movies, Nosferatu retains an eerie power even a century after it was first released as an unauthorized, lightly-altered adaptation of the novel Dracula. While technology, filmmaking techniques, and public tastes have vastly changed, the monochromatic image of the bald, fanged Count Orlok (Max Schreck, really) emerging from the darkness still terrifies.

Much as in Dracula, Nosferatu sees the undead evil from Transylvania rising to infect Western Europe, quite literally bringing a plague in this case. The story is stripped down and primal, with Orlok threatening an innocent girl with his inhuman touch, but it does not need to be complicated when it looks and feels as chilling as this.

Let the Right One In (2008)

vampire movies


Winter in Sweden is the perfect place for a vampire story to be set: cold, snowy, and dark. The striking background of Let the Right One In (directed by Tomas Alfredson) just makes the twisted sensitivity of its subject matter that much more affecting, as two outcasts manage to find each other. Of course, one of them is a vampire and the other, a burgeoning killer, but that’s romance for you.

Let the Right One In is based on a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist and centers on a pair of (apparently) children in a Swedish suburb. Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) is a 12-year-old living in an apartment complex with his single mother (Karin Bergquist) and enduring merciless bullying at the hands of his classmates; unnervingly, he obsessively collects stories of murders and fantasizes about taking violent, bloody vengeance on his tormentors.

Then Eli (Lina Leandersson) and her elderly caretaker (Per Ragnar) move into the complex. Soon, Oskar finds himself drawn into Eli’s need for human blood and a rising wave of violence in his little town.

Many vampire movies are simple stories of good vs evil, a hunter against an undead monster. Let the Right One In is far more nuanced than that, raising uncomfortable questions about the nature of friendship and romance, about the difference between partnership and being used. It is not a traditional vampire story, but all the more disturbing for being more human.

  • GFR Score calculated using averages of audience and critical reactions across multiple platforms.