Before Zombies were so popular, it was the vampires that dominated the horror genera. In fact the 1922 silent horror classic titled “Nosferatu” was the first official vampire movie, and practically gave birth to the horror genera in general. I’ll admit, Personally, I find vampires to be the most interesting of the popular reoccurring monsters, so why not list my favorites. Here are my personal top 10 favorite vampire movies.
#10 Let the Right One In (2008)
By the turn of the century, Vampire movies got tired and gimmicky, so it was about time for something to reinvigorate the genera. Tell me if you’ve heard this set up before ... boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, and girl turns out to be a hundred year old vampire. Yeah, it’s one of those stories but told very well and it gives “Twilight” a run for its money. This is a unique kind of horror film that blends scares with competent writing and lots of emotional baggage. It’s a film with a dual nature, at times it’s sinister and dark, but it’s also gorges and compelling.
#9 Fright Night (2011)
Remakes are usually uncalled for, and horror remakes tend to suck but here’s one that works very well. Just like its predecessor, the story revolves around a boy who moved into a house that just happens to be next door to a vampire. The original is obviously superior (and will be featured further on my countdown), but I wanted to give credit where it’s do. The 2011 remake of “Fright Night” may have been unnecessary, but it was shot very well, features great performances and is mostly respectful to the original.
#8 Van Hellsing (2004)
This may not be a masterpiece, but it is a fun, over the top monster mash featuring all the classic’s like Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein’s monster. While these creatures have all been featured together in movies before, this was the first modern film with bigger action, bigger set design and perhaps too many special effects for the films own good. The casting is great, with Kate Beckinsale as an attractive monster slaying princess and Hugh Jackman as a bad ass vampire slayer, you can’t get any more awesome. Throw in some especially attractive vampire brides, one of the coolest makeup renditions of Frankenstein’s monster I’ve ever seen, and non-stop action, and you got yourself some solid, trashy entertainment.
#7 Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
Of all the vampire movies on my countdown, this one is arguably the most unique as it revolves around the making of the 1922 horror classic “Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror”. It’s not a strait up bio picture of the film-making experience, instead it’s more of a clever horror satire. The films clever twist is that the actor from the movie turned out to be a real life vampire hired to play the part of the evil Count Orlok. William Dafoe, who’s probably best known for playing the Green Goblin in “Spider-Man” plays the titular vampire and is phenomenal in the role. He’s so good that his performance got him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. It’s just a clever twist on a classic horror movie, one with thrills and an interesting albeit exaggerated portrayal of what goes on behind the scenes.
#6 Blade 2 (2002)
Even though I’m a huge comic book fan, I can’t bring myself to say that I’ve ever been a fan of Marvels famous vampire killer Blade. However, the second movie in his film series is actually a pretty darn good vampire action flick. In this adventure our anti hero has to team up with the very vampires he battles in order to stop a new threat, a monster that hunts down both humans and vampires. It’s an awesome dynamic, and leads to some thrilling action scenes, while still keeping the right level of creepy atmosphere one would expect from a movie of this sort. Wesley Snipes has never shined more in the role of Blade then this film, and in my opinion, this is one of the better Marvel comic adaption’s of the early 2000’s.
#5 Horror of Dracula (1958)
When it comes to movies about Dracula, hardly any come close to matching the brilliance of the 1958 British classic “Dracula” or “Horror of Dracula” as it’s usually called. This was the first in a long series of Dracula films from Britten’s horror studio called Hammer Productions. The main attraction to this movie is the late great Christopher Lee in the lead role of Dracula, who in my opinion is the greatest villain actor of all time and this is arguably the greatest portrayal of the legendary vampire on screen. Peter Cushing is also great in the role of doctor Van Hellsing. The plot strays from the novel, but this is still one of the greatest Dracula movies ever made, thanks to its stealer period pieces, gothic scenery, eerie yet stylish mood and of course Christopher Lee ... he’s the man.
#4 The Lost Boys (1987)
Most vampire movies tend to have the same look, tone and feel, but “The Lost Boys” was one of the first to put vampires in a modern setting as opposed to a period piece. It also paved the way for teen vampire flicks which have become insanely popular these days. When a family moves into a new town, the older brother joins a gang of renegade boys who all happen to be vampires. Worse yet, he accidently drank blood which is slowly turning him into a vampire. Now with the aid of some young vampire hunters, the two brothers must work together to kill the head vampire of the pack in order for our hero to return to normal. This is a great product of the 80’s, done with style, originality, memorable characters and an awesome theme song. The whole film feels like a twisted music video mixed with classy vampire action, and what’s not to like about that?
#3 Dracula has Risen from the Dead (1968)
Dracula makes it on my list once again, and personally this is my favorite by far. “Dracula has Risen from the Dead” is the third entry in Hammers Dracula franchise, and while it’s not as classy as the first film, I honestly find it to be far superior. The plot for this sequel revolves around an atheist who needs to rescue his love from the clutches of Dracula, but sense he doesn’t believe in God, holly objects have no effect on him, and a stake through the heart can’t kill him. Thus in order to defeat the evil of Dracula, he must go on a spiritual quest to find his faith in order to concur his demons both figuratively and literally. Christopher Lee once again plays Dracula, and he’s awesome as always. However, the real strength of this film comes from our lead hero and an underlining theme of faith concurring evil.
#2 Fright Night (1985)
Now here’s a movie that celebrates classic horror, while also giving us something new and fun. It’s all about a kid named Charlie who’s obsessed with horror movies, and he believes that his next door neighbor is a vampire. Of cores no one believes him, and so he’s on his own to save the town. The plot may sound like nothing more than an extended episode of “Goosebumps” but it’s a lot more competent than you’d think, and it has its fare share of both genuine thrills and hummer. The movie dose start a little slow but gradually builds on the excitement, and the ending is just one big epic battle with lots of cool special effects. It’s just a really fun tribute to classic vampire flicks, and it also takes you back to that time when you were young, and Halloween was awesome.
Before I reveal my #1 pick, here are some honorable mentions ...
Bram Stokers Dracula (1992)
Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror
House of Dracula
#1 From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
This is what I like to call, the perfect guy flick. It combines the terrific writing and acting of Quentin Tarantino with the awesome directing and camera work of Robert Rodriguez. Plus, this was the film debut of George Clooney and in all honesty it’s my favorite performance of his. The film starts rather series as we fallow two criminals who've taken a family hostage. Then the movie jumps the shark and things get really fun when our characters stop at a bar full of vampires. It may sound stupid, which it is, but it's awesome! You really just have to be in a mind set for trashy fun monster action and first rate visual effects to enjoy this. I can't even begin to count how many awesome things are happening all in this one battle with the dead. We have creature transformations, Salma Hayek’s doing the world’s sexiest dance, and there’s so many awesome ways to see the vampires get killed. Vampires impaled, sunburned, exploding, melting and best of all, a guy pulls out a vampires heart and stabs it with a pencil. It breaks the rules, kicks some butt and does a great job referencing classics. This is a film ware you need to let loose, gather some friends, pull out the popcorn, sit back and have fun with this awesome, cheesy B monster flick, and personally my favorite vampire movie of all time.