Vampires have been an eerie staple in horror since the early days of cinema. Whether they be blood-sucking countesses, moody aristocrats, or mythical monsters, vampires are simply a common element in all types of horror. It’s no wonder why so many films have featured them over the years.
The universal fear factor that lies within this mythological creature works effectively to unsettle audiences and keep them on the edge. So whether you’re a fan of vampire movies or just looking for some scary content, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 most powerful vampire movies!
The Vampires Mass Appeal and Cultural Significance
Vampires are everywhere in pop culture. Television shows and movies featuring vampires are usual in every genre. Even professional sports teams are currently making waves with their Vampires theme. For example, the MLB team, the St. Louis Cardinals, in the 2011’s text by Toni Reavis are called “the Vampires” for their persistence in the game.
Vampires have stood referenced and used to create commonplace cliches within the horror genre for years.
These include the ubiquitous “sexy vampire,” such as those found in Interview With a Vampire, the iconic “vampire king,” such as Count Orlok from Nosferatu, or the classic “vampire hunter,” such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Blade.
These cliches have also stood used to create subgenres like the “Emo” vampire, as well as countless other variations.
German director F.W. Murnau’s 1922 film Nosferatu is considered by many to be the first vampire movie.
The film tells the story of Conde Orlok, a vampire from the Carpathian Mountains who falls in love with Ellen and terrorizes her hometown of Wisborg.
It’s important to note, however, that Murnau’s Nosferatu was not based on any particular folklore; it was based more on the macabre nature of the silent movie, even as themes of the German Expressionist movement that were popular at the time.
The film would influence countless horror films to follow, including Dracula, which would be released five years later.
American director Tod Browning’s 1931 film Dracula was an enormous success, inspiring many imitators and influencing popular culture for decades.
Transylvanian vampire Count Dracula manipulates a naive real estate agent, then moves into a London estate where he sleeps in his coffin by day and seeks possible victims by night.
The script was adapted from Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston’s namesake play, which was based on Bram Stoker’s renowned novel.
The film was so influential that even today, you can find various references to Dracula throughout popular culture. For example, the word “Dracula” is used as a verb (e.g. “Dracula-ing”) to refer to screwing things up.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)
The famous television show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is often thought to be based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. However, many critics and fans argue that the show is more influenced by elements such as B horror movies, martial arts films, and the universe of comic books or comics than by Stoker’s novel.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer follows a group of teenagers who fight evil supernatural beings, such as demons, vampires, and werewolves. The show stood based on the idea of a high school girl who battles supernatural beings. In its seven seasons on television, Buffy the Vampire Slayer became a pop culture icon. The series inspired many other vampire-themed shows and comic books.
The Lost Boys (1987)
Another notable vampire film is Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys. The movie follows two brothers who reunite with their lost friends to battle a group of evil vampires. The film was a surprise hit at the time of its release, thanks to the group of well-known ’80s teen stars, including Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, and Corey Haim, who lent their talents to the characters. The film also draws inspiration from Dracula, with the quartet of brothers coming together to take down their vampiric friend, who is trying to return to his human form.
Underworld is directed by Len Wiseman and Written by Danny McBride. Is based on a story by Kevin Grevioux.
The movie follows a vampire named Selene and a werewolf named Michael. They are tasked with protecting a young boy named Alexander.
Underworld won a sequel, titled Underworld: Evolution, released on January 2006.
In 2009, a prequel, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, was released, giving more detail about the creation of the Lycan species and Lucian’s hatred.
In 2012, a second sequel, Underworld: Awakening, was released, and a third sequel, Underworld: Blood Wars, was released in 2017.
The cinematic adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novel was a surprise hit, both for its box office earnings and its critical acclaim. The film follows a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire. The film’s success led to a series of further adaptations of Meyer’s novels. Including the Broadway musical The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which was released in 2009. Twilight is also one of the most popular vampire movies, garnering a fanbase that spans all demographics.
Let the Right One In (2008)
This Swedish film is based on John Ajvide Lindqvist’s young-adult novel of the same name. Follows a young teen girl who falls in love with a young boy who happens to be a vampire. The film is a refreshing take on the idea of a young girl falling for a vampire, as compared to the popular subgenre of vampire movies, where a young boy falls for a vampire. The film is also unique as it features a Sweden actress, Lina Leandersson, who plays the main character. This was rare for a vampire movie, as typically they have been set in Europe with English-speaking actors.
Van Helsing (2013)
Another of the few American-made vampire movies on the list is Screen Gems’ Van Helsing. Is a reboot of the classic horror-fantasy character. The film follows a human played by Hugh Jackman who is sent to Transylvania to stop the machinations of an evil corporation run by a vampire played by Richard Roxburgh. The film received a positive response from critics and audiences alike, and the rebooted series of Van Helsing films continued to be well-received by critics and fans alike.
Vampires are a popular theme in horror, and many films have been made about them. They are often depicted as shadowy and mysterious creatures that seek to prey on the living, as well as being associated with the dark and the supernatural. Many of these films are based on various legends and myths about vampires, such as Count Orlok, Count Dracula, and the infamous Nosferatu. Through the years, vampires have become a staple in pop culture and have been referenced in many forms of media. They have been portrayed in many different ways, and they have been used as a tool to unsettle audiences and keep them on the edge.