Just as vampires hypnotize their victims onscreen, these dark and alluring creatures have mesmerized audiences for decades; here are ten of the best.
Hello Ghoulies and Goblins, and welcome back to Morbidly Beautiful! I have quite the list for you this week, and that is the top ten best Vampire films that are in the horror genre — so no Twilight, sorry guys. But, I promise to bring you a fangtastic list.
Now without further interruption, let’s see which vampires are most evil than the next.
10. Queen of the Damned (2002)
Anne Rice is the master of writing about vampires, but this film had a lot of people cringing. Not me, however, as this is one of my all-time favorite vamp films — and it all has to do with Lestat De Lion Court and Akasha. Their chemistry is unbelievable, and they hypnotize you with their performance.
Akasha is awakened from her long slumber when Lestat becomes a Rockstar and starts a revolution through his music, telling the vampires around him that it’s time to come out of the shadows. Many want to assassinate him. But with the power of Akasha, he is massively protected and has to decide if he wants to rule the world with her and destroy all human kind or live a mundane life with a woman named Jesse, who sees him for who he really is.
Unfortunately, the actress who played Akasha, Aaliyah, passed away in a terrible plane accident. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t leave a legacy behind and that her spirit doesn’t live on through the work that she’s left behind for us. This movie has a scene with her where she shows exactly how a Queen of the Vampire world would act. She doesn’t let anyone stop her from finding her King, even if she has to rip a few hearts out along the way.
Aaliyah said it took an hour and half everyday, and her music background helped Stuart Townsend who plays Lestat, because she was both an actress and a singer. He cherished her advice so much and who she was as an individual. He has nothing but kind and loving things to say about her, and you can tell he missed her after her passing. They had to use Aaliyah’s brother, Rashad Haughton, to help finish the movie and record some of her lines. If you have a chance, watch the extras for this film and listen to everyone talk about how beautiful Aaliyah was. RIP beautiful, you really were the Queen of all Vampires.
The singing voice for Lestat was supplied by Johnathan Davis, lead singer of the metal band Korn. This film has one of the best soundtracks to come along with a Horror film. The vampire costumes are also amazing. If you’ve thrown this movie aside, I demand that you take another look at it.
9. Dark Shadows (2012)
Dark Shadows was originally a popular television show in the 60s, but today we’ll be talking about the Tim Burton remake. Many might not consider this movie horror enough to make the list. However, with such a gothic look and vampire elements, it’s going to sit comfortably on this list.
The casting for this film is quite large, and Michelle Pfeiffer called Tim directly and asked him for a part in the film, which is something she rarely has to ask for. That means this is a reunion between the two (Michelle was Catwoman in Burton’s Batman Returns) and her first time working with actor Johnny Depp. Johnny plays Barnabas Collins, a vampire who has awoken in an unfamiliar time and is free of the curse that was put on him by an evil witch.
This witch is played by the gorgeous Eva Green, and she runs the town that Barnabas once helped build. He goes home to his family’s Mansion and begins helping rebuild the life he once had. But when Angelique Bouchard catches wind that he is back in town, she wants to make sure she puts him back in the ground and leaves him there for good. Of course, the beautiful as ever Helena Bonham Carter stars a Dr. Julia Hoffman and wants to become what Barnabas is. Alice cooper also performs in this film, and make-up was made to make him look like his younger self without the use of CGI.
This is the 8th movie that Tim and Johnny have worked on, and Johnny was a huge fan of the tv show. He brought the script to Tim, and they both decided it would be their next project together.The soundtrack is also wonderful, along with the visuals that Tim Burton creates with his films, and there’s plenty of blood to go around!
8. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
I have personally never seen any of the Nosferatu films, but after doing some research, it is definitely something I need to catch up on.
Count Dracula is played by Klaus Kinski and spent four hours in the make up. Despite having quite the reputation for throwing hissy fits on set like a child, he got along famously with his Make-up artist Reiko Kruk. Fresh latex ears had to be made everyday due to having to rip them off after the shooting was done for the day. To keep him in a good mood, the director, Werner Herzog, would exhaust Klaus and make him throw a tantrum before shooting, so he would exhaust himself into playing the role properly, instead of being so energetic.
Real grey rats were used in the film, and then when there wasn’t enough, they painted them white. It’s been said that the rats behaved better on set than Kinski. They filmed in Holland and required a large quantity of rats that they received some from a scientific lab. They were spayed and neutered, but animal rights activists said they were all under fed and should have never been a part of the film.
The story follows Dracula and his fascination for Lucy and John Harker. The rights for Bram Stoker’s Dracula had been let go long ago, so Herzog, switched the names for Lucy and Mina — then continued to change the characters from the original Nosferatu. Herzog has gone on record claiming that the original 1922 Nosferatu is the best thing to come out of Germany cinema and still followed it as closely as possible for his remake.
7. Priest (2011)
What’s the best way to beat a group of wild vampires? A group of priests, of course! This movie stars Paul Bethany, who plays a priest who tends not to listen to his God and challenges him at every turn. He also fights off Vampires at the same time that so happened to just kill the little bit of his family that he had left. There’s one survivor, his niece, who with the help of her boyfriend, will take on an entire army of the undead to make sure she is brought back home. The priest will either have to break his vows against the church he works for or decide his own fate.
This movie has some rad looking vampires in it. Though it’s not scary in the sense of true horror, Vampires can automatically be considered horror — it’s a rule, I’m sure I’ve read it somewhere! This would be a perfect movie to snuggle up and watch. There’s a few jump scares, and all that ammunition and blood should be enough to hold you horror freaks together.
Let’s not forget all the cool people that are in this film. Cam Gigandet played James in the first Twilight film and was probably the most badass thing about that film. Then we have Karl Urban who plays our main villain with an army of vamps at his disposal. One of the most iconic horror characters is also in this film, but not in doll form; Mister Brad Dourif, who voices Chucky, also has time in this film. Plus, Cam is not the only famous vampire in this film. We also have Stephen Moyer, who we all love as the vampire Bill in the televsion show True Blood.
6. Dracula Untold (2014)
Ever wonder how Count Dracula came to be? There has long since been a legend that he was Vlad the Impaler, and this film follows the life he has before he chooses the life of a monster. His kingdom is being threatened by the Turks, and he knows that he will need an unstoppable forces power to keep his family and kingdom safe. But he will not give in to the darkness that easily and will fight anyone who gets in his way. Vampire or not.
I went to the movies to see this, and it was honestly one of the best Dracula inspired movies I had seen since watching Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Gary Oldman. Luke Evans stars as our count and shows us that evil is sometimes a necessary choice; Sam Worthington was originally supposed to star as Count but was replaced by Evans.
There are many tributes paid to the cinema and books before this movie, one of them include naming the last woman he sees at the end of the film “Mina”. She is of course named after the character Wilhelmina Harker, who in the book is the fiancé of Johnathan Harker.
This was supposed to be the start of a franchise, with more movies to follow, and it was originally meant to be part of the “Monsters Universe” that Universal Studios talked about creating. However, it looks like neither of these will be happening. Still, we can appreciate the blood and gore of this film, with or without any sequels. And it’s going to sit comfortably on this list. If you still don’t understand why, watch it and tell me Luke Evans impaling people isn’t enough to satisfy your bloody appetite.
5. 30 Days of Night (2007)
Could you imagine how horrifying it would be to live in a freezing cold town that lost the sun for a whole month? Well, a cult of vampires decides to make the town an all-you-can-eat buffet.
There is a three issue comic book series that was made before the film. Steve Niles originally wrote the books as a film, but after years of rejection he turned it into a comic book. Then the studio that originally rejected him for his screenplay went for the comic book adaption. The Vampires speak an original language that was created specifically for the film by a linguistics professor at the New Zealand university. All the Vampires have names. Although the are not mentioned in the film, you can find them during the credits.
Sam Rami produced the film while David Slade directed. Slade did the TV show Hannibal and Twilight: Eclipse. Sami was able to convince Josh Hartnett to take on the lead role; he even did his own stunts for the film. He plays a police sheriff who now has to protect his town from vampires and becomes one bad ass vampire slayer. Mark Boone Junior is also in this film. He was previously in John Carpenter’s Vampires and finds a similar fate in this film.
4. Blade (1998)
If you haven’t seen one of the three Blade movies, can you even call yourself a vampire freak? Blade is a half- vampire, half- human who happens to kill vampires for a living.
This is also the first Marvel vampire and one of Marvel’s very few horror movies. Stan Lee had a cameo, but it was unfortunately cut from the film. He was going to be playing a police officer who comes into the blood club during the aftermath of a blood bath. Wesley was actually in discussion with Marvel Comics to play The Black Panther, but that clearly fell through; that movie wouldn’t be made for another 19 years.
Wesley snipes can be known to be a difficult person to work with, and Stephen Dorff (who played Deacon Frost) didn’t have the best experience, especially with Wes being a producer as well. They had a hard time trusting each other, but they got the movie done! Ll Cool J was considered for the part of Blade and Jet Li was considered for he role of Deacon Frost. I’m glad we got Wesley instead.
3. From Dusk till Dawn (1996)
If you’re a fan of this film, I highly suggest checking out the show on Netflix, it’s just as good as the film. But we’ll be strictly talking about the film here.
How does a bank heist film turn into a Vampire blood bath? Only a director and writer like Quentin Tarantino and Robert Kurtzman could come up with something like that, and it was wonderfully directed by Robert Rodriguez. Quentin didn’t end up directing because he wanted to focus on the screenplay and focus on his role of Richard Gecko, who is quite an intense character. Robert has is own cameo in the film when the band Tito and Tarantula come on. Robert is one of the members of the band that play at the Titty Twister, which was built in a desert in California.
The movie was intended to be a lot gorier, but due to ratings, they had to use green colored blood instead of red. You can see a lot of the extended scenes and extras on different DVD and Blu-ray editions.
Salma Hayek plays one of the more beautiful of the vampires in the film. They do transform into something quite scary and ugly, but she hypnotizes us with her dance performance and with the giant Burmese Python wrapped around her body. This is a cult classic for vampire fans and a must see!
2. Interview With a Vampire (1994)
Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise as vampires? Yes, please!
Anne Rice is the creator of the Vampire chronicles, a series of books that are quite popular, and she has one that was already on this list called Queen of the Damned. Anne was not impressed with the casting of the film. But upon watching the film, she wrote an apology to Tom telling him she was impressed by his performance. Christian Slater is also in the film, and he took the place of River Phoenix, who unfortunately passed. Slater donated his paycheck to two different charities that Phoenix cherished.
The film follows a man named Louis who has just lost his wife in child birth and finds himself face to face with a vampire named Louis. They create an undead child together, named Claudia, who is played by Kristen Dunst.
To get the desired affect for the makeup, the actors were required to hang upside down, so all the blood would rush to their head and the artist could outline the swollen veins — creating the look you see on screen. Tom was also on a private set, and tunnels were built to escort him and the other actors to and from set so no one could see their overall look. Brad Pitt said in a 2011 interview that the makeup process made him miserable. He wanted out of the film because he was so uncomfortable with the contacts and having to film in hiding. But it would have cost him forty million dollars to get out of his contact, so he toughed it out, and we are thankful because he makes one haunting vampire.
Before we get to our number one best bloodsucker, let’s take a look at some important and Honorable Mentions to sink your teeth into: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (2012), The Forsaken (2001), Van Helsing (2004), and The Night Flier (1997).
1. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Now, this is a very biased choice because it is my all-time favorite film. But after doing some research on my Instagram and asking people what their favorite vampire film was, I learned that this is generally everyone’s favorite. We should all know the story of Count Dracula by now, how he came to be and who his obsession is, but there’s so many bloody treats about this film that I am truly excited to share them.
Director of the Godfather trilogy, Francis Ford Coppola, shows us just how fantastic he is with taking on one of the most notorious beasts known to mankind, Dracula! The movie follows the story of Dracula, who is damned for all eternity. When he finds the love of his life has been reincarnated, he will stop at nothing to get her back. Sounds pretty romantic, but there will be blood, vampires, and werewolves.
This movie is every goth’s dark fantasy, and the real romantic thing about the whole movie is that Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves were actually married during the ceremony; it wasn’t made aware until afterwards, but they’ve dealt with it nonchalantly and are technically still married today.
To make sure that these were the right actors for the job, Francis got all the principal actors to read the entire Bram Stoker novel out loud so they could all get a feel of what the story entails. Anthony Hopkins, who plays our hero, Dr. Van Helsing, said it took two whole days to complete.
All the actors were praised except poor Keanu Reeves. He was the most criticized, and Francis has said he used him because they needed a hot actor at the time to pull in viewers. Keanu has even been known to put himself down for this film, noting that he was so exhausted from doing so many movies on top of each other; he felt he couldn’t give the performance what it deserved. But despite his poor attempt at a British accent, I truly do not find him as horrible as some have described. It’s also not like he’s worried about it today. John Wick 3 comes out this year, and even for a horror fan, those movies are badass and a must see!
Of course, it’s really Gary Oldman that steals the show. If you haven’t seen this film, Netflix has it, and you need to see it right now!