Vampires get a bad rap but they have a long and prestigious history in cinema that reach all the way back to Nosferatu (1922) and the Dracula films popularized by Universal and Hammer Films. During this time vampires became synonymous with the character of Count Dracula and the decades that followed would see 24 different actors step into the shoes of the Count.
The character is perhaps most famously played by Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931), but other notable portrayals include Christopher Lee, Frank Langella, and Gary Oldman in Dracula (1958), Dracula (1979), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) respectively.
Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) portrayed the Count in a more sympathetic and romantic light than any other Dracula film before it, and this, along with other Dracula films should be held in high regard for continuously being able to offer fresh takes on a character with such a vast history in popular culture. These films established the character of Count Dracula as a staple of vampire horror but the genre as a whole is so much more adaptable and far-reaching than these films suggest.
The vampire genre itself has many different subgenres; you can go to any decade and pick out a handful of outstanding horror movies that feature vampires in a variety of ways. The depth of the genre is astounding and horror movies benefit a lot from its continued existence. One of the earliest subgenres was comedy, first in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) and continued on in films such as Fright Night (1985), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), and the truly fantastic What We Do in the Shadows (2014).
But it doesn’t stop there; some unique interpretations that give insight to the scope of this genre include Kathryn Bigelow’s brutal western Near Dark (1987), the somber and romantic Let the Right One In (2008), the feminist horror film A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014), and the futuristic dystopian world of Daybreakers (2009).
With a genre this vast its easy to miss out on some great titles, so be sure to browse through our site to find some new favorites and be sure to rate the films you’ve already seen!
Top 10 Vampire Horror Movies
The Night Stalker
Released: 11 Jan 1972 |
Director: John Llewellyn Moxey
An abrasive Las Vegas newspaper reporter investigates a series of murders committed by a vampire.
Released: 14 Feb 1931 |
Director: Tod Browning
The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
Released: 11 Nov 1994 |
Director: Neil Jordan
A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Released: 15 Jun 1948 |
Director: Charles Barton
Two hapless freight handlers find themselves encountering Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf Man.
Horror of Dracula
Released: 08 May 1958 |
Director: Terence Fisher
Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses.
Released: 13 Nov 1992 |
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
The vampire comes to England to seduce a visitor's fiancee and inflict havoc in the foreign land.
Featured Director: Terence Fisher
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Addicted to Murder: Tainted Blood (1998)
Blade II (2002)
Blood and Roses (1960)
Blood for Dracula (1974)
Bloodlust: Subspecies III (1994)
Bloodstone: Subspecies II (1993)
Brides of Dracula (1960)
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)
Dracula of Exarcheia (1983)
Dracula's Daughter (1936)
Dracula's Dog (1978)
Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary (2002)
Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
Freaks of Nature (2015)
Fright Night (1985)
Fright Night (2011)
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999)
From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (1999)
Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970)
House of Frankenstein (1944)
Let Me In (2010)
London After Midnight (1927)
Lost Boys (1987)
Lust of the Vampire (1957)
Night Stalker (1972)
Night Watchmen (2017)
Night of the Devils (1972)
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
Son of Dracula (1943)
Vampire Lovers (1970)
Vampire's Kiss (1988)