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10 Best Vampire Movies That Don’t Star Dracula

Sorry Count, we’re not inviting you to this one.
Days Of Horror Vampires
By  · Published on October 5th, 2021

5. Interview with the Vampire (1994)


AKA the best documentary about Tom Cruise, Interview With The Vampire is a campy romp about the limitless joys and melodramatic lows that come with eternity. Adapted from Anne Rice’s iconic gothic novel, the Neil Jordan film is rich with narrative worldbuilding and overflowing with subtext. Brad Pitt stars as Louis, a reluctant vamp who hates himself and his undead curse. On the other end of the vast, vampy spectrum, there’s Cruise’s Lestat, who is jubilantly chomping on scenery and unsuspecting mortals. It’s all extremely heightened, a little histrionic, and a testament to how fun horror can be. (Anna Swanson)

4. Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Shadow Of The Vampire

Shadow of the Vampire is an irresistible confection for a movie maniac. What if F.W. Murnau found, and convinced, an actual vampire to portray his cinematic vampire, Count Orlok? The notion is at once silly, outrageous, and sorrowful. Willem Dafoe’s ancient creature holds contempt and curiosity for these pathetic humans who dared to knock on his doorstep. They are food to him, but he is also desperately lonely and aching for connection. Dafoe brilliantly bounces between multiple emotional states, inviting the audience to interpret and reinterpret their perception of the vampire. Hero and villain switch places throughout the runtime, ultimately settling into roles that Murnau’s crowd would undoubtedly struggle to recognize. Shadow of the Vampire both mocks and embraces the celebratory culture surrounding vampire fiction and Hollywood veneration. The film is at once a high five and a slap across the cheek. (Brad Gullickson)

3. Near Dark (1987)

Near Dark

Near Dark is a classic tale of boy meets girl, boy is turned into a vampire by girl, boy searches for a cure while trying to avoid being killed by the extra-psychotic vampire Severen (Bill Paxton). With several show-stopping set pieces and some delightfully amped up performances, this neo-Western horror film is truly one of a kind. And with just a dash of hope thrown into the mix, Near Dark is a unique take on a genre often known for its bleakness. (Anna Swanson)

2. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

What We Do In The Shadows commentary

Who knew one of the best vampire movies would be a full-on comedy? Mockumentaries are very much hit-or-miss, unless directed by Christopher Guest, as they often rely on a one-note joke stretched out into a dreadful 90 minutes. What We Do in the Shadows is very much the exception to the rule. Co-directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this delightful horror-comedy follows a group of vampires living together in a flat in modern-day Wellington. They partake in the most mundane, everyday activities but happen to be vampires. On occasion, they run into other supernatural creatures. It is one-note, but it’s one glorious note. Who would have thought vampires learning how to use the internet and fighting over household chores could be funny? Not I, and yet, here I am laughing. As a nice bonus, it’s rather bloody. (Chris Coffel)

1. Fright Night (1985)

Fright Night

Tom Holland’s Fright Night is a film so good that it features Chris Sarandon wearing a sweater to the club, and that’s not even the best thing about it. When teenager Charley begins to suspect that his new neighbor, Jerry Dandridge (Sarandon) is a vampire, he knows that there’s of course only one thing to do: enlist the help of actor Peter Vincent (the incredible, inimitable Roddy McDowall). After a career spent playing a vampire hunter, surely Peter Vincent knows a thing or two about taking down the real thing. It’s not exactly a fool-proof plan but it does make for a riotously fun and spooky good time. (Anna Swanson)

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Anna Swanson is a Senior Contributor who hails from Toronto. She can usually be found at the nearest rep screening of a Brian De Palma film.