Movie-goers began seeing and experiencing films about vampires sometime in the early 1920s. However, since that time, only a select few have had such impactful story lines that they have become cult classics with horror fans around the world. These are my picks for 10 great vampire movies:
10. “Let the Right One In” (2008) / “Let Me In” (2010)
Both the Swedish and American versions of this movie were so realistic. Each had haunting performances from their child actors, and at times, you may forget that these magical story lines could never really happen. The story is about a boy that befriends a vampire girl who has just moved into his apartment building. She helps the boy find his inner strength to defend himself against bullies, who continually terrorize him, and he in turn protects her, the secrets that plague her and the father that helped raise her.
9. “Near Dark” (1987)
What do you get when you combine a creepy vampire “family,” western themes, humor and some good scares? The answer is, the vampire cult classic titled “Near Dark.” This popular vampire movie was co-written and directed by none-other than Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), and it stars Lance Hendriksen, Bill Paxton and Adrian Pasdar. The story line follows a cowboy who is seduced by a pretty new girl in town, and ends up joining her wayward, undead family of ghoulish vampires.
8. “Blade” (1998)
Blade is a comic book character and was the first comic book/graphic novel to become an action based movie series. As much it is an action film, it is based on a modern-day vampire so it also falls into the horror genre, as well. The character Blade is played by Wesley Snipes, who is half human and half vampire. He is not only a day walker, but also hunts rogue vampires by night. The popularity of the character, graphic novel and first film, led to two additional movie sequels.
7. “Underworld” (2003)
This is the only movie that has ever embraced the idea of a werewolf-vampire rivalry, and in the Underworld series, this rivalry is nothing short of an all-out war between the two species. The movie takes place in modern day, but the war has raged on for centuries. Kate Beckinsale plays the beautiful ‘death dealer’ Selene, Michael Sheen plays the alpha lycan Lucian, and Scott Speedman is the hybrid that represents both species.
6. “From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996)
Co-written by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, this cult classic vampire movie stars George Clooney and Tarantino as brothers on the run after their bank robbery goes horribly wrong. They are set to meet up with friends in an out of the way bar in Mexico, and little do they know it is built atop a vampire den. Supporting cast members include Salma Hayek as the sexy vampire queen Esmeralda, and Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, and Ernet Lui as the Fuller family.
5. “30 Days of Night” (2007)
After watching this vampire movie, the state of Alaska will never be viewed in the same way again. Imagine there is no sunlight for 30 days straight. What are the most important things vampires need to survive? Darkness and of course, human blood. During the 30 days of nightfall in a sleepy Alaskan town, a clan of vampires has the perfect opportunity to feast on the residents without having to worry about one ray of sunlight to stop them.
4. John Carpenter’s “Vampires” (1998)
This John Carpenter vampire movie is one of the best ever made, with lots of action, blood and overall terror. It stars James Woods as Jack Crow, the leader of a Catholic group of vampire hunters sanctioned by the Vatican. Crow became a vampire hunter due to losing his parents at a young age to deadly vampire attack. This group of vampires hides out in the desert and believes they can eradicate mankind with the help of a centuries-old cross that will give them the power to once again, walk in the sunlight.
3. “Lost Boys” (1987)
Another cult classic that starred “The Two Corey’s,” “Lost Boys” introduced the possibility that a teenage vampire clan living on the coast of California is responsible for the disappearance of many nearby residents and visitors. A single mom moves herself and her two boys to Santa Carla, California, to try to start over. The oldest son Michael, played by Jason Patric, falls for one of the local girl’s who lures him into the vampires den. The younger son Sam, played by the late Corey Haim, begins to see a change in his brother after he spends time with the local group. Sam believes Michael is becoming a vampire and enlists the help of the town’s vampire hunters, the Frog brothers, played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander. This film is for vampire movie fans of any age and is one you will want to watch again and again.
2. “Interview with a Vampire” (1994)
Based on Anne Rice’s best-selling book, “Interview with a Vampire” became wildly popular because of its cast and the exceptional storyline. Louis, played by heartthrob Brad Pitt, is the lead character, a plantation owner, who after losing his loved one has lost the will to live. Vampire Lestat, played by Tom Cruise, offers Louis the chance to become a vampire and live side by side as immortal brothers through the future centuries. Once Louis is turned, he at first refuses to feed on humans. But when a little girl named Claudia becomes an orphan as a result of her own mother dying of the plague, the two take it upon themselves to raise her as one of their own.
1. Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” (1992)
Oscar nominated actor Gary Oldman portrays Count Dracula in this film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It is based on Bram Stoker’s critically acclaimed novel of the same name. The movie follows Vlad Dracula from his earlier years as a Romanian prince to the late 1800s in London, where he is known as a businessman named Count Dracula. It showcases his undying love for his late wife Elisabeta, who he believes has been reincarnated within character Mina Harker, played by Winona Ryder. The movie itself is visually stunning in so many ways, and the story is one that will touch on your every emotion. It is a tale of love and loss, and war and hate, and is accompanied by superb acting by both Oldman and his nemesis, Professor Abraham Van Helsing, played by Anthony Hopkins.