Before Brad Pitt made them so pretty, vampires were the ultimate nightmare fuel. Brilliant, bloodthirsty, relentless, and they didn’t sparkle in the sun. Days were good and the nights were terrifying for horror fans. Whether you are in for the scare, border on squeamish or just need some Nic Cage, at this point in vampiric motion picture history there is something for everyone. Here are some options for you to take a bite out of (sorry).
Sweden’s Let the Right One In is as chilling as it is beautiful. A simple story of companionship between two lonely children — it just so happens that one of them is undead and in need of as much love and protection as the bullied boy she befriends in the snow. The American remake Let Me In (not available for free streaming) also holds up well.
Vampire in Brooklyn (Netflix)
A year before The Nutty Professor affirmed how funny farts are, Eddie Murphy played the last vampire on earth who happened to find himself in 90s Brooklyn. Murphy plays the undead fish-out-of-water along with a group of zany characters. Wes Craven (seriously) tries to bring a funny and sexy twist to the vampire story and you can see Murphy’s raw charm trying to hold things together as he navigates his undead demon through pre-hipster Brooklyn.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Not available for free streaming, but you can buy it!)
Balancing her cushy prom queen life with battling the undead leads Buffy to become writer Joss Whedon’s first cinematic heroin badass. It’s a crime against Joss Whedon. Besides Kristy Swanson, whose perfectly adequate performance is blocked out of our minds by that other Buffy, the fantastic Luke Perry, the never better David Arquette, Rutger Hauer and Donald Sutherland also star. The feature film may not be freely available, the TV series is (Hulu, Netflix).
Two for one! From director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), these films showcase the battle between day and night, light and dark, and good and evil as it rages in these Russian supernatural thrillers. There are also crow tornadoes and people that turn into tigers.
Fright Night (Hulu)
It’s hard enough when you know that your neighbor is a blood thirsty vampire and nobody believes you. It makes it way harder when he knows you know. From Child’s Play to Stephen King adaptations like Thinner and The Langoliers, director Tom Holland helped set a tone for a generation of B-grade horror movies. Just listen to that trailer voice-over guy and tell me you don’t want to be part of that story.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Netflix)
It’s Dracula versus Van Helsing as the king of the undead goes on a mission to find a lost love. It’s hard to imagine someone not having seen this movie by now, but for those who haven’t had the privilege, Gary Oldman, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Winona Ryder, Tom Waits, and Keanu Reeves tackle Bram Stoker’s seminal story about the ultimate vampire.
Dracula II: Ascension (Netflix)
I was so excited to see that this movie was available on Netflix. Don’t get me wrong, it is not very good, but it is very cool. Medical students find Dracula’s body and there’s a priest who obviously has insane martial arts skills played by Mowgli himself. Beat that, Edward.
Stake Land (Netflix)
As far as this list goes, Stake Land really has a little bit of everything. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic landscape destroyed by the vampires and follows a young man and a seasoned badass as the latter trains his apprentice to stay alive during their quest to find a safe home. Stake Land, has as many dark twists as it does killer vampire death scenes.
There they are. Happy streaming everyone.