Best Vampire Movies and TV Shows

A skull with vampire-like teeth upon a table surrounded by fairy lights. Photo by Justin Arkinson on Unsplash

Whether terrifying or tame, scary or…sparkly, vampires have fascinated humans well beyond the days of their folklore origins. First thought of as dark and bloated, today’s vampire stereotype leans more towards the pale and thin variety—though plenty of other interpretations exist too.

For media you can really sink your teeth into, look no further. Satisfy your bloodlust with these vampire movies and TV shows.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997)

Available on: Hulu, Amazon Prime, Youtube TV, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu

Language: English

Based on the 1992 movie—also written by Joss Whedon—this show was made to fulfill Whedon’s expectations after he was bitterly disappointed by the film.

It’s a darker take on the idea of a high school cheerleader who fights vampires, demons, and other supernatural creatures, when she isn’t finishing her homework or out shopping for clothes. Despite the more serious direction, Buffy also encapsulates a lot of fun, campy scenes and 90s nostalgia.

Nightwalker: The Midnight Detective (1998)

Available on: Amazon Prime

Language: Japanese

This short anime series is based on an earlier computer game featuring the main character, a vampire named Shido. He despises his own kind due to their rampant killing of humans, and spends his nights solving crimes committed by vampires and other demonic forces called nightbreeds.

With only 12 episodes, this is a quick watch with an exciting narrative.

Lost Boys (1987)

Available on: Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Language: English

Featuring a hilariously bleached-blond Kiefer Sutherland, this movie about geeky nerds trying to save a friend from the local vampire gang is more of a coming-of-age comedy than horror.

The idea of vampires hanging around the suburbs posing as a biker gang is fun, and the movie has some witty dialogue to boot.

Let The Right One In (2008)

Available on: Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Language: Swedish

Let The Right One In does everything right. Following the child Oskar, the film chronicles his friendship with a girl in his new neighborhood and how little she resembles other children.

The horror of this movie is mostly in the subtle silences and understated moments, such as childlike whispers in the dead of night.

It’s worth noting that there was an English remake of this movie, but it barely holds a candle to the original.

Interview With The Vampire (1994)

Available on: Fandango, Vudu, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Language: English

Unique in both plot and format, Interview With the Vampire infuses American gothic themes with mass commercial appeal. A vampire, Louis, decides to tell his life story to an eager and bewildered reporter in the present.

In the 1700s, Louis—still a mortal—loses his wife and child, growing so distraught he decides to kill himself. He’s approached by a vampire known as Lestat, who persuades Louis to let Lestat turn him instead.

While Louis accepts, he quickly regrets the decision and finds Lestat’s disregard towards human life appalling. He refuses to be his companion, until his hunger grows so strong he attacks a motherless girl.

Lestat turns the dying child into a vampire, thereby “saving” her, and convinces Louis to stay and care for her in his twisted version of a family. After three decades, the girl possesses the mind of an adult but realizes she’ll never be one. Outraged, she sets a plan in motion so she and Louis can escape Lestat forever.

Daybreakers (2010)

Available on: Peacock, Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Language: English

A disease ravages the human population and turns most of them into vampires. As might have been suspected, a lack of humans to feed on causes a blood shortage, and the vampires begin to fight over dwindling resources.

One vampire scientist desperately tries to create a blood substitute to put an end to the conflict, when a few rogue humans show up and claim to have the makings for a real cure.

Vampire’s Kiss (1988)

Available on: Vudu, Fandango, Apple TV

Language: English

This cult classic features Nicholas Cage as a well-established businessman who starts to believe he’s slowly morphing into a vampire.

At the climax of the film, Cage runs down a street screaming at the top of his lungs, “I’m a vampire! I’m a vampire!” Even if you only watch the movie for his bizarre energy and that iconic scene, it’s worth it.

Fright Night (1985)

Available on: Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Language: English

Like many horror movies, this one takes a lot of pleasure in poking fun at its genre. The main character is obsessed with horror movies. After a new neighbor moves in who hardly ever leaves his house, Charley decides he must be a vampire.

When no one in their right mind believes him, Charley teams up with a washed-up TV actor who once slew fictional vampires on his show. Together, they investigate the strange goings-on next door.

Thirst [Bakjwi] (2009)

Available on: Peacock, Fandango, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Language: Korean

Be warned: this Korean film is not for the faint-hearted.

A priest becomes infected with vampirism and begins an illicit relationship with his friend’s wife. When she finds out he’s a vampire, she’s completely turned on and inexplicably wants more.

The movie delivers an interesting take on traditional gender roles in Korea, and gives the female protagonist a lot more agency than you might expect. For people who are less concerned about the narrative, there’s plenty of long, drawn-out scenes of blood-sucking gore.

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Perhaps the greatest thing about vampire movies and TV shows is that directors and screenwriters can play into typical tropes, make up twists, or abandon the expected altogether. From classic depictions to modern versions—in which vampires may appear no different from humans—fans of the genre simply can’t get enough.

For more horror recommendations, check out these movies with the best body horror moments, these best movie monsters, or the best werewolf movies and TV shows.