The allure of the vampire isn’t a new concept. Whether they be in books, film, or TV—there’s a sexual energy to vampires that’s hard to ignore. Not to mention how vampires tend to be very queer by nature. Let’s face it, monsters can be really sexy all while being dangerous at the same time.
And because of how tantalizing they can be, there’s really no shortage of vampire movies. Shuffle through a list of horror movies and you’re bound to find a classic vampire film, a modern gore fest, or something that straddles the line between funny and scary. But how scary are the vampires in some of the best vampire movies? Do they all make you wonder how you’d survive the night? Keep reading to find out the least scary to the scariest of the best vampire movies.
9. The Hunger (1983)
Erotic horror doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves. It may very well be due to the idea that horror has to be scary. The Hunger (1983) follows a love triangle between a doctor and a vampire couple. Things get messy really fast and it must be mentioned that this movie is very queer and sensual. David Bowie, Susan Sarandon, and Catherine Deneuve star in it. That should say enough. The only downside is that the vampires aren’t very menacing. And the movie feels like a sensual commercial more than anything else. Though it’s definitely an iconic gem and belongs on this list.
8. Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Looking for a film where Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise are a lowkey married couple with an adoptive vampire child? Look no further. The film follows a very broody Louis (Brad Pitt) who gets turned by Lestat (Tom Cruise) and it chronicles the events that lead up to Louis meeting up with an interviewer at a hotel. I won’t lie and say the vampires are the kinds you’d quiver about. Not a whole lot is scary about Louis complaining about being a vampire. Nor is Lestat’s dramatic antics. They are more pretty to look at than anything else. But there’s something about this film (aside from the problematic bits) that make it enjoyable to watch.
7. Near Dark (1987)
It may not be for everyone, but if you want to go outside the box, I recommend this film. Near Dark (1987) follows a young man in Oklahoma who encounters a group of vampires. Now, one of the vampires is very much for the Confederate flag and was a soldier—we’re not supposed to root for this vampire group. Racist monsters (human or otherwise) are scary, but as far as vampires go? These ones seem more like violent humans vs. creature of the night. And it sort of takes away from how scary they are in the film.
6. The Lost Boys (1987)
The Lost Boys (1987) is a must-watch if you’re a horror fan. Especially if you love stylish vampires— because all of the vamps in this? Styling and profilin’. This vampire classic follows Michael (Jason Patric), along with his mother and brother, who move to Santa Carla to live with their grandfather. Eventually, he gets involved with a rebellious group of vampires, and chaos ensues from there. On some level, the vamp transformations are pretty frightening. You wouldn’t want to run into them on a beach.
5. From Dusk Till Dawn (1995)
Aside from Salma Hayek’s dance scene, there are plenty of other reasons to watch this movie. The film follows criminal brothers who kidnap a former preacher and his kids. They travel across the Mexican border thinking they’d be safe. Only to discover the bar they end up at isn’t safe at all. This is one of those movies that throws you for a loop. At first, it feels like a typical action film, only to turn into an action horror movie with vampires. While the vampires themselves are kooky, you wouldn’t want to face off with them. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say they are genuinely a bit scary.
4. Fright Night (1985)
There’s nothing to hate about this movie. Fright Night (1985) follows a teenager named Charley (William Ragsdale) who begins to suspect his next-door neighbor is a vampire. The events that play out certainly change him and his friends forever. And it serves as an example of how minding your business is usually best. Are the vampires freaky? Most definitely. The visual and make-up effects are pretty solid and the vampire transformations aren’t your run-of-the-mill. Those teeth! Having one of them bite and devour you would scare the shit out of you. Not even just for obvious reasons either.
3. Blade (1998)
Blade (Wesley Snipes) is an iconic character, and still remains an important smidgen of representation. Especially when Black vampires are still not so common. The film follows Blade, who is a half-human/half-vampire and out to protect humanity. Talking about this movie means mentioning the wild-as-hell club scene, of course. A scene so iconic and representative of the sensual and violent nature of vampires, you can’t look away. The vampires in this aren’t fucking around either. They don’t care who they hurt. And I’d say the lack of care is what makes these vamps horrifying.
2. Let Me In (2010)
When a kid is the killer in a horror movie, it’s often spine-chilling. Let Me In (2010) is a remake of the Swedish movie, Let the Right One In (2008). And it follows Owen (Kodi Smit-Mcphee), a bullied 12-year-old who befriends a vampire named Abby. With this being set in the ’80s, there’s another level of fear. There are no cellphones, you can’t just hop on the internet to search up vampires, and essentially proving you know one is next to impossible. But Owen (Kodi Smit-Mcphee) doesn’t seem to care. Nor does he care that Abby is brutally murdering people and drinking them. Abby’s got a presence to her that doesn’t inspire much comfort. She’s weird in a way that you know something is off. And the way she kills her victims is eerie. For a vampire, in a very small body, she’s pretty strong and ruthless. terrifying.
1. 30 Days of Night (2007)
First, I’ll start by saying holy shit. As far as vampires go, these are some of the scariest you’ll ever see. And this movie isn’t discussed enough as far as I’m concerned. It follows an Alaskan town that’s invaded by vampires during its 30-day long polar night. When the vampires arrive in town, they are immediately terrifying. They are also very calculated and operate like a pack of wolves. Despite what I said earlier, these aren’t your typical sexy vampires. They don’t ooze sex appeal or anything. They are just bloodthirsty monsters that slowly take out the town. It’s a frightening, claustrophobic movie that you won’t soon forget.
(featured image: Columbia Pictures)
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