The Best Vampire Movies of All Time - StudioBinder

From Sri Lanka to ancient Greece, the myth of the vampire has permeated virtually every society throughout history. The myth typically arose to explain sudden deaths caused by illnesses but attributed those tragedies to a horrific creature of the night. Over the years, vampires have gone on to symbolize the darker side of humanity and the immortal quest for ever-lasting life, which makes them perfect for the big screen.

As of this writing, vampire movies have sort of gone by the wayside. But that does not mean it cannot see a resurgence very soon. For all you filmmakers out there, we’re ranking the 30 best vampire movies of all time. Let them serve as inspiration for you to pursue that dark, grisly horror project you have in the dark confines of your mind.

Best Vampire Films

30. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

“We're immortal, Buffy. We can do anything.”

It doesn’t hold a candle to the eventual TV series, but there’s still plenty of fun to be found in the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It hits most of the same beats as the series where Buffy just wants to graduate high school and not spend her free time killing vampires. The second half kind of falls apart, but Joss Whedon’s script is enough to elevate it to campy, self-aware entertainment. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

  • Score: 5 Out of 10 Bats
    (Pee-Wee Herman himself,
    Paul Reubens, really steals the show)
  • Tomatometer: 35%
  • Watch Now

Vampire Movies List

29. Byzantium (2013)

“I'm never merciful, and knowledge is a fatal thing.”

Byzantium is a unique vampire story about a mother and daughter seeking refuge in a small Irish town. It’s one of the more stylish vampire films for sure. It’s only a shame the script doesn’t do the visuals justice. Still, if you don’t mind a few listless sequences, it’s bloody beautiful to look at. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

BYZANTIUM

  • Score: 5 Out of 10 Bats
    (A truly feminist vampire movie)
  • Tomatometer: 66%
  • Watch Now

Good Vampire Movies

28. 30 Days of Night (2007)

“When man meets a force he can't destroy, he destroys himself.”

30 Days of Night wins bonus points for setting the film in a small Alaskan town where sunlight won’t come for another month. It just makes sense for vampires to show up. The vampires are only bloodsucking monsters without any real substance and symbolism, and unfortunately, a lack of substance also plagues the human characters. There’s a lot of potential here, but it never comes together as well as you would like. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

30 DAYS OF NIGHT

  • Score: 5 Out of 10 Bats
    (Danny Huston shines as the vampire leader)
  •  Tomatometer: 51%
  • Watch Now

Top Vampire Movies

27. Blade (1998)

“You tell him it's open season on all suckheads.”

Before Spider-Man or X-Men, Marvel came to the big screen in a big way with Blade. You don’t watch Blade for the plot. You watch to see Wesley Snipes deliver badass one-liners will spilling excessive amounts of blood from the undead. It makes for an entertaining horror/action hybrid that has a clear goal in mind and meets it. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

BLADE 

  • Score: 5.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (Mahershala Ali will take on the
    Blade mantle for Marvel very soon)
  • Tomatometer: 54%
  • Watch Now

Best Vampire Movies of All Time

26. Fright Night (1985)

“You have to have faith for this to work on me!”

Most people watching Fright Night today probably won’t be scared by the dated makeup or find the corny 80s dialogue amusing. It may not rank among the all-time great 80s horror classics, but it’s a nice time capsule of what most horror films of the era were like back then. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

FRIGHT NIGHT

  • Score: 5.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (Directed by Tom Holland, not to be
    confused with current Spider-Man, Tom Holland)
  • Tomatometer: 91%
  • Watch Now

Popular Vampire Movies

25. Blacula (1972)

“I curse you with my name. You shall be... Blacula!”

When you think of the blaxploitation era in the 1970s, Blacula is likely the first film to come to mind if nothing else for that title. The film still has its flaws, and yet it still manages to be better than it has any right to be. It tells the story of an African prince who succumbed to Dracula’s bite and in the centuries since was transported to modern day Los Angeles. At its core are serious moral questions, but you still probably shouldn’t watch it with people who are overly PC. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

BLACULA

  • Score: 5.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (You should watch it for the soundtrack alone)
  • Tomatometer: 48%
  • Watch Now

Great Vampire Movies

24. Bloodsucking Bastards (2015)

“You trying to repel me with a cross made of pencils?”

Bloodsucking Bastards is a criminally underseen vampire flick that is the perfect B-movie for people wanting another Whedon-esque fix. It brings vampires into the workplace for one part Dracula and one part Office Space. There are plenty of quips to make you laugh through the bloodshed, making it ideal for late-night viewing parties.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS

  • Score: 6 Out of 10 Bats
    (It’s an impressive indie production
    that only took 18 days to film)
  • Tomatometer: 65%
  • Watch Now

List of the Best Vampire Movies of All Time

23. The Hunger (1983)

“You're a part of me now and I cannot let you go.”

The Hunger truly understands that vampires are sexy and leans into that 1,000%. It’s an arthouse film through and through, and while it’s more slow-paced than some horror fans would love, it helped bring a modern flair to bloodsuckers. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

THE HUNGER

  • Score: 6 Out of 10 Bats
    (David Bowie is as delightfully weird as always)
  • Tomatometer: 52%
  • Watch Now

Best Vampire Movies List

22. Daybreakers (2009)

“Welcome back to humanity. Now you get to die.”

Daybreakers takes place in a world where vampires rule, and one scientist has the mission to find a cure to transform humanity back to normal. It’s a cool premise. The only problem is that the film is tonally inconsistent. It ponders on philosophy one second while moving onto guts and gore the next without adequately gelling the two sensibilities together cohesively. Still, as one of the few sci-fi vampire movies out there, it’s intriguing to say nothing else. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

DAYBREAKERS

  • Score: 6 Out of 10 Bats
    (The film takes place in 2019, and uh…
    they were off quite a bit on some predictions)
  • Tomatometer: 68%
  • Watch Now

Amazing Vampire Films

21. Ganja & Hess (1973)

“Why am I always cold?”

Nearly 50 years later, there’s still no vampire film quite like Ganja & Hess. The film tackles everything from addiction to dealing with the painful  history of African Americans in the United States. The film still has themes relevant to this day, and for fans of Blacula, Ganja & Hess makes for a fascinating companion piece. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

GANJA & HESS 

  • Score: 6.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (The movie stars Night of the
    Living Dead’s Duane Jones)
  • Tomatometer: 86%
  • Watch Now

Movies With Famous Vampires

20. Near Dark (1987)

“The night has its price.”

Near Dark helped revitalize the vampire genre in the 80s. After years of being relegated to sexploitation films, vampires came back as (still sexy) outsiders who live fast and die young. Director Kathryn Bigelow portrays the vampires as tragic figures, constantly on the run from daylight and the police. If there’s one way in which this film succeeds it’s in how you root for the vampires to make it out alive. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

NEAR DARK

  • Score: 7 Out of 10 Bats
    (Featuring one of Bill Paxton’s
    most underrated performances)
  • Tomatometer: 88%
  • Watch Now

Good Vampire Movies to Watch Next

19. Vampire’s Kiss (1988)

“A, B, C, D, E, F, G!”

Vampire’s Kiss is a combination of a vampire film and Wall Street. It masterfully takes on the overzealous financial mentality of the 1980s, but that’s not why anyone remembers it. It features arguably the most Nicolas Cage-y performance of all time, and it’s worth watching solely to see Cage giving his all. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

VAMPIRE’S KISS

  • Score: 7 Out of 10 Bats
    (Nicolas Cage wanted to create a new
    expression of acting with this performance)
  • Tomatometer: 61%
  • Watch Now

List of Vampire Films for Horror Filmmakers

18. Daughters of Darkness (1971)

“Love is stronger than death... even than life.”

The 70s brought about the grindhouse film with many movies embracing a more sexual quality. It proved to be a perfect fit for vampire films, and that leads us to Daughters of Darkness. The movie isn’t purely carnal as there are enough artistic flairs to prevent it from descending into straight-up smut. In fact, the film almost casts a spell over you, enthralling you every moment it plays. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS

  • Score: 7 Out of 10 Bats
    (Probably the first lesbian vampire movie)
  • Tomatometer: 73%
  • Watch Now

Top Vampire Movies of All Time

17. Thirst (2009)

“I don’t kill anyone.”

Thirst is subversive in the best way. The film follows a priest who receives vampire blood after a transfusion and begins a physical relationship with a woman. It’s a psychological horror film where we see a supposedly good man continues to descend into his basest instincts. Meanwhile, the blood and violence never overshadows the fact that this is a brilliant satire of gender roles, making for one of the more thoughtful vampire films in recent years. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

THIRST

  • Score: 7 Out of 10 Bats
    (From Park Chan-wook, director of Oldboy)
  • Tomatometer: 81%
  • Watch Now

Brilliantly Famous Vampire Movies

16. Martin (1977)

“And that's another thing about those movies. Vampires always have ladies.”

George Romero practically invented the modern zombie genre. And in 1977, he made his first vampire film with Martin. Just like with his zombie movies, Romero uses Martin to critique modern society, more specifically how men will give into their basest urges. The question of whether Martin is actually a vampire drives the plot, but ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Whether he’s a vampire or a psychopath, you better watch out for Martin. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

MARTIN

  • Score: 7.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (A worthy addition to Romero’s canon)
  • Tomatometer: 90%
  • Watch Now

Popular Vampire Movies from the 90s

15. Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

“So you want me to tell you the story of my life?”

Interview With the Vampire is one of the most atmospheric vampire movies ever made with director Neil Jordan enfusing every shot with mood. The gothic touches elevate the film, and while it’s more known today for its romance, it’s still effectively scary when it wants to be. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE:
THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES

  • Score: 7.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (Anne Rice initially criticized Tom Cruise’s casting)
  • Tomatometer: 62%
  • Watch Now

Ranking the Best Vampire Movies of All Time

14. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

“All right, vampire killers, let's kill some f*cking vampires.”

Written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Robert Rodriguez, From Dusk Till Dawn is exactly what you would expect with that description. Horror fans looking for a treat may be disappointed to learn that the vampires don’t show up until the second half of the film where the tone completely changes. From there, it gets just as violent as you would expect, and if you can get over the unevenness of the plot, it offers enjoyable, B-movie fun. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

  • Score: 7.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (It serves as a fun precursor to Grindhouse)
  • Tomatometer: 63%
  • Watch Now

Great Vampire Movies for Horror Fans

13. Blade II (2002)

“Vampires... I hate vampires.”

Unpopular opinion time: Blade II is a far better film than the original. Helmed by none other than Guillermo del Toro, he brings his usual aesthetic to elevate the source material. Wesley Snipes still brings it until he checks out for good on Blade: Trinity. The sequel helped push the comic book movie in new, interesting directions and opened the door for other auteur directors to jump into the playground. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

BLADE II

  • Score: 7.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (The gore gets amped up to the max)
  • Tomatometer: 57%
  • Watch Now

The Best Vampire Movies of All Time, Ranked

12. Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

“I think we have it.”

Shadow of the Vampire is one of the most original vampire films ever made. The plot follows the filming of the classic horror film Nosferatu with the exception that the actor who played the titular monster was an actual vampire. It manages to be funny and haunting at the same time, and for filmmakers, it’s a brilliant metaphor for Hollywood. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE

  • Score: 8 Out of 10 Bats
    (Willem Dafoe earned an Oscar
    nomination for his performance)
  • Tomatometer: 82%
  • Watch Now

Amazing Vampire Films

11. Cronos (1994)

“He thinks it will help him live longer.”

Cronos is Guillermo del Toro’s first feature-length film where he honed his vampire chops before taking on Blade II. It still ranks high among his filmography as it tells the story of an old man who gets a second lease on life when a magical device turns him into a vampire. Other people soon come for the object, and we soon see that immortality comes at a price. It’s a must-see for nothing else to see how far del Toro has come.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

CRONOS

  • Score: 8 Out of 10 Bats
    (Guillermo del Toro worked
    on the script as far back as 1984)
  • Tomatometer: 90%
  • Watch Now

Top 10 Vampire Movies

10. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

“I have crossed oceans of time to find you.”

Francis Ford Coppola brought Bram Stoker’s original vision to the big screen in superb fashion. Coppola’s commitment to not relying on CGI is impressive, and it makes for unique shots you can’t help but marvel at to this day. Even when the film falls short, it’s still riveting to watch. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA

  • Score: 8.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (Keanu Reeves’ train ride is particularly
    impressive when you realize no CGI is involved)
  • Tomatometer: 73%
  • Watch Now

Good Vampire Movies You Must Watch

9. Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)

“You drank Ian!”

Vampires never seemed so human before Only Lovers Left Alive. It’s a film that truly grapples with the concept of immortality and how ultimately, vampires would just get bored with the whole thing. The vampires here both love and hate humanity. You don’t watch this particular vampire flick for the blood. You watch it for the conversation, which crackles at every turn. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE

  • Score: 8.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (From The Dead Don’t Die director Jim Jarmusch)
  • Tomatometer: 85%
  • Watch Now

30 Best Vampire Movies of All Time

8. Dracula: Pages From a Virgin’s
Diary (2003)

Dancing Asian Dracula

Dracula: Pages From a Virgin’s Diary is one of the boldest interpretations of the classic story put to film. Despite being released in 2003, the film is a black-and-white ballet performance without spoken dialogue. Director Guy Maddin incorporates a wide breadth of filmmaking techniques to make this a uniquely 21st century film, and there is plenty for aspiring filmmakers to learn from. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

DRACULA: PAGES FROM A VIRGIN’S DIARY

  • Score: 8.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (The arthouse comes for Dracula)
  • Tomatometer: 87%
  • Watch Now

Most Famous Vampire Ever

7. The Addiction (1995)

“Dependency is a marvelous thing.”

The Addiction is one of those films you watch and then wonder why there aren’t most movies like it. After a philosophy student gets bitten, the film turns into a discussion of drug use, religion, and the AIDS epidemic. There is a lot of philosophy at play, but it never feels like a university lecture. It remains accessible, and you may just learn a thing or two. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

THE ADDICTION

  • Score: 8.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (Christopher Walken shines as the vampire tutor)
  • Tomatometer: 75%
  • Watch Now

List of Vampire Movies, Ranked

6. The Lost Boys (1987)

“Great! The Bloodsucking Brady Bunch!”

Joel Schumacher gets a bad rap for his Batman movies, but he’s still responsible for the best vampire movie of the 80s. It brings together humor, blood, and 80s punk rock in spectacular fashion. No wonder why this movie's poster can still be seen in college dorm rooms to this day. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

THE LOST BOYS

  • Score: 8.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (A vampire film worth repeat viewings)
  • Tomatometer: 74%
  • Watch Now

Top 5 Best Vampire Movies of All Time

5. A Girl Walks Home Alone at
Night (2014)

“I should die and leave you in peace.”

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is the first Iranian vampire western film ever made, and boy, did it set the bar high. The story follows several residents of a small town as they’re haunted by a woman who turns out to be a vampire. The score is electric, and the choice to film it in black-and-white is superb. It juggles heavy themes without missing a beat, raising the bar for what vampire movies can do in the future.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT

  • Score: 9 Out of 10 Bats
    (Director Ana Lily Amirpour is a talent to watch)
  • Tomatometer: 96%
  • Watch Now

Entertaining Vampire Films

4. What We Do in the Shadows (2015)

“We're Werewolves, not Swear-Wolves.”

There are a ton of zombie comedies out there. For whatever reason, vampires never really leaned toward straight-up parody, but that all changed with What We Do in the Shadows. What follows is a hilarious mockumentary that shows vampires trying to adjust to life in the 21st century. Each bit lands perfectly, and hopefully, it leads to more vampire comedies in the future. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

  • Score: 9.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (The FX series is also worth a watch)
  • Tomatometer: 96%
  • Watch Now

Scary Vampire Films

3. Nosferatu, the Vampyre (1979)

“Death is not the worst. There are things more horrible than death.”

It isn’t easy remaking a classic, but Werner Herzog largely succeeded with his remake of Nosferatu in 1979. The film consists of a series of vignettes that don’t necessarily form a coherent plot. Instead, the objective is to imprint on the viewer a sense of horror and an understanding of how lonely eternity must feel. As a result, the film stands on its own with shots so hauntingly beautiful, they can still make audiences squirm to this day. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

NOSFERATU, THE VAMPYRE

  • Score: 9.5 Out of 10 Bats
    (A film that shows Dracula
    as both powerful and pathetic)
  • Tomatometer: 95%
  • Watch Now

Remarkable Vampire Films

2. Let the Right One In (2008)

“I'm twelve. But I've been twelve for a long time.”

Let the Right One In is the full package of vampire films. It’s a touching story of young love while still providing plenty of horror and gore for genre enthusiasts. In lesser hands, the film would’ve felt tonally inconsistent, and yet, it all comes together beautifully. It will warm your heart one second and terrify you the next. And above all else, it’s the rare vampire film anyone can connect to. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

  • Score: 10 Out of 10 Bats
    (The word “vampire” is only
    said once in the entire film)
  • Tomatometer: 98%
  • Watch Now

The Greatest Vampire Film Ever

1. Nosferatu (1922)

“Your wife has such a beautiful neck…”

It’s easy to dismiss horror films of the past as corny or cliche, but Nosferatu transcends those labels. Nearly a century later, it’s just as frightening as it was when it was first released. Count Orlok is the embodiment of pure, unadulterated horror. Nosferatu isn’t just an important vampire film. It was critical for getting general audiences to view films as genuine art and not just some pretty pictures. The medium would look vastly different if Nosferatu never happened, and today, it’s a great representation of what can be accomplished through film. 

IN CONCLUSION

NOSFERATU

  • Score: 10 Out of 10 Bats
    (The film only exists because the
    filmmakers couldn’t get the rights to Dracula)
  • Tomatometer: 97%
  • Watch Now

UP NEXT

10 Best Scary Movies

Hopefully, this list provides you with some good watching material for some time to come. However, if you still need your horror fix, then check out our list of 10 more frightening movies to watch in the dark. See how many of these films you can watch without closing your eyes in terror. 

Up Next: 10 Best Scary Movies →
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