Is is pretty clear why vampires have such a strong place in the human psyche. Eternal life and eternal youth. What would you do if you could live forever, and what price would you pay? Do we secretly like the idea of taking from others in order to fulfil our own needs…
There are a few movies that have made the genre (Interview with the Vampire anyone) and some television shows that have blown it out of the water (yes we are talking about Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer series). But despite that, it seems that every filmmaker has a new twist or feels like they have a new story to tell, which is why we keep getting new vampire movies, some good, some fantastic, and some down right terrible.
If you are fascinated by the world of vampires, there are currently quite a new films on Netflix to help you get your fix. We’ve come up with a list of the 4 best vampire films and 6 best vampire tv shows currently available on Netflix.
It should be noted that most of the best vampire movies and shows ever made are not on this list, because they aren’t currently available on Netflix. Netflix programmers, if you are listening, please think about getting the original Nosfertu (1922) film, and the 2000 follow up Shadow of a Vampire. The Blade (1998) movies may be gnaff, but they changed the game in terms of having a black man in the leading role and in bringing darkness and grit to the comic book and superher genres. Finally, yes we want to see Interview with the Vampire (1994), the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) movie and The Lost Boys (1987), a guilty punk-rock pleasure…
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009)
IMDB Score 5.9/10
Our protagonist Darren visits the circus freak show, only to discover that among the many interesting characters on show is a vampire. While his friend is desperate to join the ranks of the undead, Darren is not, and only agrees to become a half-vampire and join the freak show as a vampire assistant in order to save his friend’s life. Darren struggles with taking life (I did say it was a common theme), and has to deal with the jealousy and lack of gratitude of his friend. While the film tried to cram in a little too much supernatural fun, John C. Reilly is, as always, excellent as our freak show vampire, and a good showing from young actor Chris Massoglia as Darren.
Family Blood (2018)
IMDB Score 4.3/10
A recent contribution from Bloomhouse productions, Family Blood looks at how vampirism not only affects the individual, but the people closest to them. Ellie is a recovering drug addict (Vinessa Shaw) trying to get clean and repair her family who gets turned into a vampire. With her addictive personality, her appetite for blood is insatiable. While Ellie’s journey may be a bit formulaic, and a bit drawn out in some respect while being rushed in others, Directo Sonny Mallhi does a good job bringing empathy to the screen in the case of Ellie’s relationship with her two teenage children.
He Never Died (2015)
IMDB Score 6.4/10
Starring Henry Rollins as an immortal, cannibalistic loner who has chosen to withdraw from society in order not to hurt others. Unfortunately, the world has other plans and draws him back into society in order to save a friend and find his daughter. But can he keep his impulses under control. The film has quite a cult following, and a follow up miniseries is in the works.
My Babysitter’s A Vampire (2010)
IMDB Score 7/10
A comedy take on the vampire genre, the film follows a group of teenagers who must foil a plot to resurrect a group of dead vampires, led by one very lively vampire babysitter. Starring Vanessa Morgan and Matthew Knight. Definitely aimed at a tween audience, if you don’t take it too seriously, it can be good fun.
IMDB Score 8.1/10
Based on the 1989 video game, this series follows an outcast monster hunter named Trevor who is trying to protect the world from Dracula, who has declared war on mankind after his wife was falsely accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Trevor teams up with a group of misfits to take on Dracula and his forces.
Hemlock Grove (2013-2015)
IMDB Score 7.2/10
In a small town in Pennyslvania two seemingly unconnected men are suspected of a series of murders. They decide to join forces to find the real killer, and find themselves descending into the world of vampires. Starring Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard, this the 33 episodes of this series are bingeable.
Penny Dreadful (2014-2016)
IMDB Score 8.1/10
Starring the highly charismatic Eva Green alongside legend Timothy Dalton, this series draws on many of the tales and supernatural published as “penny dreadfuls” in the 19th century. Meet Dorian Gray, Abraham Van Helsing and Victor Frankenstein and others as they unite to fight the forces of evil on the streets of London.
The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017)
IMDB Score 7.7/10
A teen drama phenomenon in its day, this show is set in the small town of Mystic Falls which happens to have some notable vampire citizens. Staring Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder, if you haven’t heard about this show, where have you been? Find out what all the fuss is about and watch all eight seasons (even though it was never the same when Nina Dobrev left).
The Originals (2013-2018)
IMDB Scoe 8.2/10
A spin off from The Vampire Diaries, it takes the original vampires, the most interesting and charismatic secondary characters from the series, and palces them in New Orleans, the city of magic. Starring Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gilles and Claire Holt, embrace the strange mix of American, English and Asutralian accents with surprisingly smart stories.
Vampire Knight (2008)
IMDB Score 7.5/10
As a young girl Yuki was attacked by a rogue vampire, only to be saved by a pure blook vampire Kaname. Ten years later, she finds herself as the adopted daughter of the headmaster of Cross Academy, where she is a guardian of good vampires, who have renounced their murderous ways, including the one that saved her life. But can a vampire ever deny their true nature?
No Longer Available on Netflix
30 Days of Night (2007)
IMDB Score 6.6/10
Based on the graphic novel series, this film directed by David Slade stars Josh Hartnett and Melissa George as a couple who find themselves stranded in an Alaskan town that is beset by vampires taking advantage of the 30 day long polar night. Bringing the violence of the page to life, this film has a thrilling atmosphere, even if there are a few plot holes.
IMDB Score 6.5/10
Byzantium makes an awesome departure from the vampire genre as our protagonists are not sophisticated upper-class blood drinkers, but members of a scrappy lower-class fighting for survival. The story is told from the perspective of an apparently young vampire, played by Saoirse Ronan, who chooses to only feed on the dying (reluctance to take life a common theme among vampire heros). She tells the story of her vampire mother, who chose to become a vampire when it was something reserved only for men. Gemma Arterton is powerful as mother Clara and creates a sympathetic yet brutal image of vampirism.
IMDB Score 6.2/10
Dark Shadows was actually originally an American Gothic soap opera that aired 1960s-70s. Like the series, the movie follows the trials and tribulatios of the Collins family. Their problems are mostly down to Edward Collins, who 200 years earlier managed to offend a powerful witch, so she turns him into a vampire, locks him in a coffin, and turns the small town in which they live against the Collins family. Edward is accidentally awakened in modern times and needs to adapt to modern life, and deal with the slighted witch who is still around. A collaboration between director Tim Burton and his favourte leading man Johnny Depp, it is exactly the quality dark comedy that we have come to expect.
IMDB Score 6.5/10
This Australian-American thriller stars Ethan Hawke as a vampire haematologist living in a futuristic world run by vampires. A vampire corporation sets out to capture and farm the remaining humans, while also researching an alternative food source. This work is thrown into chaos when a human survivor (Willem Dafoe) claims to have a cure for vampirism.
Dracula Untold (2014)
IMDB Score 6.3/10
Whether there are still any untold stories about Dracula is questionable. But Like Evans stars in this origin story about Vlad Tepes, Prince of Wallachia and Transylvania and how he himself became a vampire. More of an action film than a mystery thriller, if you don’t take it too seriously, this film has a lot to offer.
IMDB Score 7.2/10
Vampires and Robert Rodriguez, you know that this is going to be something memorable! From Dusk till Dawn really is the two part gore fest that Rodriguez failed to produce with Machete (2010). In fact, only the second part of this film can be considered a vampire movie. In the first half we follow two thugs, played as a perfect buddy duo by George Clooney and Quentin Tarrentino in front of the camera, as they go on an elaborate crime spree. Only after they escape into Mexico do they encounter a coven of vampires, led by the immeasurably sexy and talented Selma Hayek. Ridiculous amount of blood, guts, violence and gore of course ensue. Perfect for a night in.
IMDB Score 6.7/10
Unfortunately, the first of these movies isn’t available on Netflix, so I hope you have already seen it. Obviously this is one of the kids, but like so many quality kids movies these days, it is made for adults to enjoy too, with lots of hidden jokes just for us. In this film, when at the age of five Dracula’s grandson still hasn’t grown any fangs, grandpa Dracula starts to worry that he may not gain his vampire powers because of his father’s mortal bloodline. Dracula then makes it his mission to manifest his grandson’s vampire abilities, with a little help from his friends. Some great voice acting from Adam Sandler, Steve Buschemi, David Spade and Fran Drescher.
IMDB Score 7.1/10
A remake of a 2008 Swedish film, Let Me In may seem simple, but it is the best-reviewed horror film from 2010 for a reason. A young boy Owen (played by Kodi Smit-McPhee) forms a close friendship with a mysterious new neighbour Abby (played very well by Chloe Grace Moretz). Throughout the movie we watch their relationship form and Abby help the bullied Owen overcome his fears. Of course, Owen soon discovers that Abby is a vampire, but will that change their relationship? This is one of the few cases where the American remake is probably better than the original. They are also just different enough that it is worth watching both.
Manhattan Undying (2016)
IMDB Score 4.5/10
Starring Sarah Roemer and Luke Grimes, this movie follows a vampiress who seeks out an artist to paint her portrait, as her lack of reflection means that she has never seen herself. The artist, who is terminally ill, has his own problems, and the police are also hot on the trail of the seductive but lethal vampiress.
IMDB Score 5.7/10
Inspired by a Korean comic book series and staring the always excellent Paul Bettany, this movie has a lot going for it. It is set in an alternative universe where humanity and vampires have been at war for centuries, but the humans have won. Most of the vampires have been killed or placed on reservations, and the warrior priests that won the war have gone into retirement. One Priest comes back when he realises that his niece has been kidnapped by vampires, and blood ensues. This movie has action, an ambigious enemy and a evil organisation in charge, basically everything you need for a vampire movie that is anything but dull.
IMDB Score 5.2/10
Whether you are a fan of the series of not, it has certainly been generation defining in terms of how young people have come to understand vampires. Starring Kirtsen Stewart and Robert Pattison, Bella finds herself in a small town with very little sunlight, where she falls in love with a vegetarian vampire and is introduced to a whole new world.
Twilight: New Moon (2009)
IMDB Score 4.7/10
In this next instalment of the Twilight saga, Bella is abandoned by her vampire live Edward in an attempt to protect her from himself, and the world of vampires. However, it may be too late, as other vampires already know about Bella. Fortunately, there are some local werewolves around to help and we meet Jacob (Taylor Lautner) properly.
Twilight: Eclipse (2010)
IMDB Score 5/10
With Bella back together with her vampire lover, they must now seriously think about what a future together looks like and whether Bella herself should become a vampire. Things are made more complicated by Jacob’s love for Bella, and she must weigh what is right and safe and what the heart wants.
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011) and Part 2 (2012)
IMDB Score 4.9/10
The final instalment of the series was broken into two parts. It sees Bella and Edward start their lives together, but for some reason, the vampire world is against their union. They must fight against the vampire hierarchy and change the rules of the world that have existed for millennia.
IMDB Score 6.7/10
I am a fan of the Underworld series, so it is a bit of the shame that this is the only one currently available on Netflix. Luckily this is a good one that reveals much about the mythology that underpins the Underworld movies, so is a good starting point. We of course get to enjoy the presence of Selene, embodied by the gorgeous and talented Kate Beckinsale, and the significantly less interesting Michael Corvinus, played by Scott Speedmen, that we were introduced to in the first two Underworld films. But in this film we also get some amazing acting from Bill Nighly and Zita Gorog as original vampires, and even a cameo from Derek Jacobi (yep, Cadfael).
Underworld Blood Wars (2016)
IMDB Score 5.8/10
The fifth and most recent instalment in the Underworld franchise, Kate Beckinsale returns as the vampire Selene, who is on the run from vampires wanting revenge, on from werewolves who think that she can help them locate Eve, whose blood is the key to creating an army of vampire-werewolf hybrids. Theo James makes a welcome addition to the cast in this film that will appeal to any fan of the franchise.
IMDB Score 8.5/10
This is a hilarious mockumentary from New Zealand that more uses vampirism to create a fertile ground for comedy than being a vampire movie per se. We follow the lives of four vampire flatmates. We haev Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) an 862-year-old former tyrant, Viago (Taika Waititi) a 379-year-old uptight leader of the house, Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) a 183-year-old young rebel, and Petry (Ben Fransham) and 8000-year-old Nosferatu type vampire who lives on the bottom floor of the flat in a stone coffin. Their different ages, and therefore different outloosk on life is one of the main sources of comedy. We follow them as they try to do the most normal things, such as doing the dishes, get into nighclubs, and figure out new technology.