The 20 Best Horror Vampire Movies Since 1980


The top 20 horror vampire movies since 1980 that are true standouts and have become horror fan favorites. Get the FREE checklist.

best horror vampire movies since 1980

Vampires have sunk their fangs into cinema since the beginning, with silent film “Nosferatu”, and have not let up since.

These immortal bloodsuckers offer a tantalizing blend of terror and seduction that make them irresistible.

I adore “Byzantium” for its eerie elegance and “30 Days of Night” for its no holds barred tension and gore.

In this list we have chosen 20 horror vampire movies since 1980 that are true standouts and have become horror fan favorites.

Read to the end for BONUS vampire movies that are streaming FREE right now.

Here are The 20 Best Horror Vampire Movies Since 1980 in No Particular Order

1. 30 Days of Night (2007)

This is set in the isolated town of Barrow, Alaska, where the sun doesn’t rise for a whole month during winter. As darkness begins, a horde of bloodthirsty vampires descends upon the town, slaughtering its residents with ruthless efficiency. The survivors, led by Sheriff Eben Oleson and his estranged wife Stella, must band together and fight for their lives against the relentless onslaught of the undead.

2. Blade (1998)

  • Director: Stephen Norrington
  • Cast: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson
  • Genre: Action, Horror
  • Rating: R
  • ‘Blade’ on IMDb

Blade, the ultimate vampire hunter, is half-man, half-vampire, and all badass. With his cool gadgets, martial arts skills, and snarky sidekicks, he’s ready to take on the forces of darkness and save the world from a vampiric virus.

3. Let the Right One In (2008)

A chilling tale of a lonely boy and a mysterious girl. She’s pale, she’s cold, and she’s a vampire. He’s bullied, he’s bored, and he’s smitten. Together, they find solace in each other, but need to choose if their romance can survive the harsh realities of life and death.

4. The Lost Boys (1987)

  • Director: Joel Schumacher
  • Cast: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland
  • Genre: Comedy, Horror
  • Rating: R
  • ‘The Lost Boys’ on IMDb

Teenage brothers Michael and Sam move to a new town and discover that it’s crawling with vampires. They join forces with a group of vampire hunters called the Frog Brothers to stop the bloodsuckers from taking over the town and turning Michael into one of them.

5. John Carpenters Vampires (1998)

Jack Crow is a professional vampire slayer who works for the Vatican. He and his team are on a mission to find and destroy the master vampire Valek, who is searching for a relic that can give him the power to walk in daylight.

6. From Dusk Til Dawn (1996)

  • Director: Robert Rodriguez
  • Cast: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Salma Hayek
  • Genre: Action, Crime, Horror
  • Rating: R
  • ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ on IMDb

Two criminal brothers, Seth and Richie, kidnap a family and take them to a strip club in Mexico. Little do they know that the club is run by vampires who want to feast on them. They must team up with the family and some other patrons to fight their way out of the hellish night.

7. Fright Night (1985)

  • Director: Tom Holland
  • Cast: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall
  • Genre: Horror, Thriller
  • Rating: R
  • ‘Fright Night’ on IMDb

Charlie Brewster is a horror fan who suspects that his new neighbor Jerry is a vampire. He enlists the help of a TV show host and vampire expert named Peter Vincent to expose and kill Jerry. But Jerry is not going down without a fight, and he has his eyes on Charlie’s girlfriend Amy.

8. I Am Legend (2007)

  • Director: Francis Lawrence
  • Cast: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan
  • Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
  • Rating: PG-13
  • ‘I Am Legend’ on IMDb

Robert Neville is the last man alive in a post-apocalyptic New York City. He spends his days hunting for food, searching for a cure, and avoiding the infected creatures that roam the night. He is not alone, however, as he has his loyal dog Sam and a radio broadcast that he hopes will reach other survivors.

9. Underworld (2003)

  • Director: Len Wiseman
  • Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen
  • Genre: Action, Fantasy, Thriller
  • Rating: R
  • ‘Underworld’ on IMDb

Selene is a vampire warrior who belongs to a secret society that is at war with the werewolves, or Lycans. She falls in love with a human named Michael, who is bitten by a Lycan and becomes a hybrid. Together, they uncover a dark conspiracy that threatens both races.

10. Near Dark (1987)

  • Director: Kathryn Bigelow
  • Cast: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton
  • Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
  • Rating: R
  • ‘Near Dark’ on IMDb

A young cowboy falls in love with a mysterious girl who turns out to be a vampire. He joins her nomadic family of bloodsuckers and struggles to adapt to their dark lifestyle.

11. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Count Dracula travels from Transylvania to London to pursue his love, Mina Harker, who he believes is the reincarnation of his lost love. As Dracula unleashes his dark powers upon the city, a group of brave souls, including Mina’s fiancé Jonathan Harker and the vampire hunter Van Helsing, must band together to stop him. Filled with Gothic romance, Gothic horror, and breathtaking visuals, this film is a captivating and chilling take on the iconic vampire story.

12. Thirst (2009)

  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Cast: Song Kang-ho, Kim Ok-bin, Kim Hae-sook
  • Genre: Drama, Horror, Romance
  • Rating: R
  • ‘Thirst’ on IMDb

A devout priest volunteers for a medical experiment that turns him into a vampire. He struggles with his new urges and falls in love with his friend’s wife, who is unhappy with her life. Together, they embark on a twisted affair that leads to murder and madness. A dark and erotic thriller from the director of Oldboy.

13. Cronos (1992)

  • Director: Guillermo del Toro
  • Cast: Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, Claudio Brook
  • Genre: Drama, Horror
  • Rating: R
  • ‘Cronos’ on IMDb

An antique dealer named Jesus Gris discovers a mysterious, insect like device hidden within an ancient statue. This device grants him immortality but at the terrifying cost of being turned into a vampire. Jesus becomes entangled in a dangerous game with an aging, wealthy man obsessed with the device’s powers.

14. Queen of the Damned (2002)

The vampire Lestat becomes a rock star to reveal his existence to the world. But his music awakens the ancient vampire queen, Akasha, who’s been asleep for centuries. As she rises to power, Lestat finds himself in a battle for survival against this powerful and seductive force. It’s a dark and sexy vampire tale with a killer soundtrack and plenty of supernatural twists.

15. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

Louis, a depressed plantation owner, tells his life story as a vampire to a curious reporter. He was turned by the charming but cruel Lestat, who taught him the ways of the night. Together, they made a little girl, Claudia, into a vampire, and lived as a twisted family for decades. But Louis was never happy with killing humans, and Claudia wanted to grow up. What will happen when they meet other vampires in Paris?

16. Let Me In (2010)

  • Director: Matt Reeves
  • Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloë Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins
  • Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror
  • Rating: R
  • ‘Let Me In’ on IMDb

Owen is a lonely and bullied boy who befriends Abby, a mysterious girl who moves in next door. She’s not like other girls, she’s a vampire, and she needs blood to survive. She helps Owen stand up to his bullies, and he falls in love with her. But their relationship is not easy, as Abby has a secret guardian who kills for her, and a detective who is on their trail.

17. The Hunger (1983)

  • Director: Tony Scott
  • Cast: Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, Susan Sarandon
  • Genre: Horror
  • Rating: R
  • ‘The Hunger’ on IMDb

A vampire couple, Miriam and John, are desperate to halt their aging process. When John begins to rapidly age, Miriam seeks a new lover, drawing in a young doctor named Sarah. As Sarah discovers the truth about Miriam’s immortality, she finds herself trapped in a seductive and dangerous world.

18. Stake Land (2010)

  • Director: Jim Mickle
  • Cast: Connor Paolo, Nick Damici, Kelly McGillis
  • Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
  • Rating: R
  • ‘Stake Land’ on IMDb

It follows a young man named Martin and a badass vampire hunter named Mister as they trek through a post-apocalyptic America ravaged by bloodsuckers. Along the way, they encounter various dangers, including cults and other survivors, while seeking sanctuary in “New Eden.” It’s a dark and thrilling ride with plenty of action and heart-pounding moments.

19. Daybreakers (2010)

  • Directors: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
  • Cast: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill
  • Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
  • Rating: R
  • ‘Daybreakers’ on IMDb

In a world where most people are vampires, blood is a scarce and precious commodity. Ethan Hawke plays a vampire scientist who is trying to find a substitute for human blood, while Willem Dafoe plays a former vampire who has a cure for the condition. Together, they must fight against a corrupt system that wants to keep the status quo.

20. Byzantium (2013)

  • Director: Neil Jordan
  • Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley
  • Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror
  • Rating: R
  • ‘Byzantium’ on IMDb

Two female vampires, a mother and a daughter, have been on the run for centuries, hiding their secret from the world. When they arrive in a seaside town, they find new opportunities and dangers. The mother, played by Gemma Arterton, becomes a brothel owner, while the daughter, played by Saoirse Ronan, falls in love with a dying boy. But their past soon catches up with them, as a group of ancient vampires hunts them down.

BONUS Vampire Movies Streaming FREE on Tubi

Vampire’s Kiss
Embrace of the Vampire (1995)
Embrace of the Vampire (2013)
Kiss of the Vampire

Thanks for reading this article for vampire horror movie inspiration!

If you love horror, than checkout our other articles on horror movies!

We hope to see you again soon.

vampire horror movies checklist

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20 best vampire movies since 1980

So, what are your thoughts on the movies included in this list? What additional movies would you have included? What movies would you have left off?

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