Image: Sony Pictures
It’s a long way ‘til April, but these films will help ease the wait
If you’re anything like my esteemed colleague Joshua Rivera, the news of Sony delaying Morbius to April has got you down. The long-awaited Spider-Man spinoff starring Jared Leto as the anemic scientist-turned-vampiric vigilante has been brewing in production for quite awhile, with the announcement of this latest delay marking the sixth such time it’s been pushed back since it’s initial release date inn July of 2020.
If you’re aching to satiate your vampire fix in the meantime, we’ve put together a list of some of the best vampire horror movies available to stream on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Shudder, and beyond. The goal of this list was to exhume some deeper cuts from the sepulcher of the vampire horror canon, along with a few contemporary favorites. That means no Blade, because c’mon — if you’re excited to watch Morbius, chances are you’ve already seen Blade.
Here are 11 of the best vampire horror films to watch on streaming while you wait for Morbius.
30 Days of Night
Photo: Columbia Pictures
Based on Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith’s comic series, 30 Days of Night follows the denizens of an Alaskan town as they’re hunted by a ravenous pack of vampires, who luxuriate in a spot plunged into darkness every winter for over a month. With the town’s power cut off and no access to the outside world, the survivors must find a way to fend off their would-be predators until daylight returns. Danny Huston shines as Marlow, the regal and relentless leader of the vampires, as does Josh Hartnett in his starring role as Sheriff Eben Oleson. —Toussaint Egan
30 Days of Night is available to stream on Pluto TV.
Image: Arrow Video
Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction easily ranks as one of the stranger inclusions on this list, and considering some of the titles featured, that’s quite an accomplishment. The film centers on Kathleen (Lili Taylor), a doctoral philosophy student who finds herself transformed into a blood-starved temptress after being attacked by a woman while walking home at night. Grappling with reality of her strange new condition, Kathleen fatalistically muses on the words of George Santayana, Jean-Paul Sartre, and more as she stalks and lures in new victims to chow down on.
As one could probably guess from the title, The Addiction functions as an allegory on the nature of addiction and the fallibility of human nature while also fitting in a few nods to the fear and phobia surrounding the AIDS epidemic. It’s a weird, unabashedly avant-garde take on vampire horror, not the least of which for its eclectic soundtrack featuring the likes of Cypress Hill and Schoolly D and a standout performance by Christopher Walken as an elder vampire who has found a way to control his thirst. Come for the bloodsucking, stay for The Sopranos cameos. —TE
The Addiction is available to stream on Shudder.
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
Image: Kino Lorber
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a spaghetti western vampire story set in Iran and featuring a strong arthouse vibe. The eponymous girl (Sheila Vand) is a chador-wearing skateboarding vampire, in some moments very modern, at others a throwback to old school Nosferatu-style creeps. Writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour’s signature genre-blending style is visible in every choice, from costume to staging to music. Lush despite being in black-and-white, each frame is carefully staged to suck you in and keep you engaged, despite long stretches without dialogue. There is no other horror movie like this movie. —Jenna Stoeber
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is available to stream on Shudder and Kanopy with a library card.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Image: Sony Pictures
Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s seminal gothic horror novel stars Gary Oldman as Count Vlad Dracula, former conqueror-turned-immortal creature of darkness. When solicitor Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) is summoned to Dracula’s castle under the pretense of securing new property in London, he quickly realizes that the Count has far more elaborate and sinister designs aimed at his fiancée Mina Harker (Winona Ryder), whom Dracula believes is the reincarnation of his long-dead wife Elisabeta. Filled with gorgeous practical set designs, elaborate costumes courtesy of the late Eiko Ishioka, and stunning atmospheric visuals, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a memorable and chilling incarnation of an iconic horror character. —TE
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is available to stream on Netflix.
Image: Criterion Collection
Guillermo del Toro’s 1993 directorial debut Cronos set the tone for the type of macabre and fantastical films that would go one to become his signature and remains a fascinating horror fable all its own. When elderly antiques dealer Jesús Gris (Federico Luppi) is injured while unearthing a golden scarab-like device forged by a mysterious alchemist, he finds himself inexplicably endowed with both newfound youth and a terrifying new thirst. As Gris’ dependence on the rejuvenate properties of the device morph into an addiction, he finds himself hounded by a wealthy dying businessman (Claudio Brook) and his thuggish nephew (Ron Perlman) who lust after its powers for themselves. An inventive twist on the classic vampire formula with a melancholic finale, Cronos is a must-watch for any avid fan of del Toro or vampire horror. —TE
Cronos is available to stream on HBO Max and Criterion Channel.
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus
Image: Gravitas Ventures
A remake of Bill Gunn’s Ganja & Hess, Spike Lee’s Da Sweet Blood of Jesus stars Zaraah Abrahams as Hess Green, an anthropologist and art collector who is transformed after being mortally injured by a mysterious ancient Ashanti artifact. Overwhelmed with a newfound thirst for blood and invulnerability, Hess begins to pursue a relationship with his former colleague’s ex-wife (Zaraah Abrahams), all the while searching for a means of understanding and acclimating to his new vampiric existence. Less an out-and-out horror movie than a surreal mood piece meditating on the nature of addiction and the intersection of faith and love à la The Addiciton, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is a divisive yet nonetheless fascinating take on vampire horror that centers Black characters in a genre where they are otherwise often overlooked. —TE
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is available to stream on Showtime and Kanopy with a library card.
Interview with the Vampire
Photo: Warner Bros.
Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise star in Interview with the Vampire as Louis de Pointe du Lac, an 18th -century vampire weary of his immortal life of loneliness and hunger, and Lestat de Lioncourt, the elder vampire who sires him. Relating his life story to a reporter with his own personal agenda, Louis recounts the long decades of love, betrayal, and death that have plagued his existence, from the adoption and siring of a young vampire named Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) to Lestat and Louis’ dramatic (and deadly) falling out. Dark, erotic, and entertaining, both Anne Rice’s original novel and the film rejuvenated the subgenre of vampire horror fiction and spawned a generation of countless imitations in its likeness. —TE
Interview with the Vampire is available to stream on Netflix.
The Lost Boys
Image: Warner Home Video
Joel Schumacher’s campy cult classic vampire comedy The Lost Boys centers on Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim), two brothers who move with their recently divorced mother to Santa Carla, California to live with their eccentric grandfather. Dubbed the so-called “murder capital of the world, both Michael and Sam find themselves drawn to the dark truth behind the nickname when they separately cross paths with gang of vampires who prey on the town’s denizens, led by the villainous David (Keifer Sutherland). Essentially The Goonies with vampires instead of a treasure hunt, The Lost Boys is a schlocky and stylish horror comedy worth watching if for Corey Feldman’s strange Rambo-esque line delivery alone. —TE
The Lost Boys is available to stream on Netflix.
Image: Kino Video
No list of vampire horror cinema is complete without F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, which turns 100 years old in 2022. An unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the 1922 silent horror films follows Count Orlok, a terrifying and formidable vampire whose sets his sights on the wife of an estate agent who visits his home of Transylvania on business. Max Schreck’s performance as Orlok is iconic; a gaunt and looming specter of supernatural malice whose visage has been replicated and parodied in everything from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Dan Curtis’ Dark Shadows, and 2014’s What We Do in the Shadows. Widely acknowledged as the first vampire feature, Nosferatu is an essential touchstone for any would-be horror aficionado. —TE
Nosferatu is available to stream on Shudder and Kanopy with a library card.
Let The Right One In
Photo: Magnet Releasing
Adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist’s 2004 novel of the same name and later re-adapted in Matt Reeves’ 2010 film Let Me In, Tomas Alfredson’s 2008 romantic horror drama Let The Right One In follows Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), a lonely 12-year-old boy in Stockholm who befriends his next door neighbor Eli (Lina Leandersson), only to discover that they are in fact a vampire. Somber, gruesome, and beautifully shot; Let The Right One’s reputation as a modern horror classic has only continued to endure in the years since it first released. —TE
Let The Right One In is available to stream on Hulu.
Image: Criterion Channel
Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr is heavier on atmospheric visuals effects than the popular tropes, violence, or sensuality one would otherwise expect from a vampire movie. The 1932 film centers on Allan Gray (Nicolas de Gunzburg, under the stage name “Julian West”), an obsessive student of the occult who ventures into the secluded village of Courtempierre only to discover the town is under the malevolent sway of a vampire’s curse. Vampyr doesn’t have much in the way of spoken dialogue, instead relying on inventive chiaroscuro lighting tricks and an eerie score by Wolfgang Zeller. If you’re looking for a vampire film that combines the horrific, the fantastical, and the tragic into an evocative and memorable experience, Vampyr ranks among the genre’s best. —TE
Vampyr is available to stream on HBO Max and Criterion Channel.
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