10 Best Vampire Movies Of The 21st Century (So Far) | CBR

Every year, there are hundreds of new movies that hope to push the medium forward and resonate with audiences. The past few decades have allowed the modern film industry to expand in significant ways with massive blockbusters, new box office records, and more distribution methods than ever before.

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The horror genre is one area that filmmakers been able to do creative things with, and there are certain staples that routinely return. Movies have experimented with vampire stories for nearly 100 years, but it’s especially exciting to see what the most recent vampire movies have done with the macabre material.

10 2011’s Fright Night Elevates The Self-Aware Premise With A Stellar Cast

Horror remakes are often misguided exercises that can come across as abysmal or just utterly unnecessary. Fright Night is vampire classic from the 1980s that still holds up well, which prompted many to immediately dismiss 2011’s remake by Craig Gillespie. The new Fright Night clearly holds a lot of passion for the original and is able to recapture the first movie’s frantic energy. Fright Night begins with a simple “monster next door” premise, but it continually evolves in satisfying ways. 2011’s version also excels with a sublime cast that includes Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, and David Tennant.

9 Night Watch Redefines The Forces Of Light And Dark In Exciting Ways

Timur Bekmambetov’s Night Watch is a Russian horror and fantasy hybrid that is at its best when it comes to the rich dystopia that the film creates. Night Watch establishes a century-long feud between forces of light and dark that work to maintain a balance in their hostile world. In terms of a plot, Night Watch is quite simple. However, its inventive take on vampires and inspired use of special effects help Night Watch stand out as well as showcase Bekmambetov’s directing skills.

8 30 Days Of Night Turns An Unsuspecting Community Into A Vampire Paradise

Based on a graphic novel of the same name, 30 Days of Night is an explosive vampire film from 2007 that prides itself in its gritty atmosphere and the dark world that it creates. Its strong premise revolves around an Alaskan community that faces a full month of darkness each year, turning the area into the perfect haven for vampires.

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30 Days of Night leans more into the action genre than horror, but the visuals that fill the movie are absolutely haunting. 30 Days of Night‘s director, David Slade, has gone on to become quite the visionary filmmaker, and his talent is clear here from his unique take on vampires.

7 A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night Is A Restrained Look At Death And Loneliness

It’s very easy to reduce vampire stories into gory bloodbaths, but there’s quite a bit of nuance to the creatures, which is something that’s beautifully explored in Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. The black-and-white Iranian film juxtaposes a vampire’s loneliness with the disaffected isolation of a simple man who finds himself overwhelmed by life. Ana Lily Amirpour has become a major name to watch in the horror genre, and her touching and emotional dissection of life, death, and loneliness is an important change of pace for the genre.

6 Only Lovers Left Alive Uses Immortal Vampires To Contemplate Eternity

The public has gotten so comfortable with vampire narratives that they’ve been able to evolve in ambitious ways. The undead subject matter can act as a lens for meditations on humanity rather than a cavalcade of death. Jim Jarmusch applies his acerbic wit to the darkly funny, Only Lovers Left Alive, which uses the immortality of vampires as a launching point for two musician lovers to contemplate the nature of life. Only Lovers Left Alive is methodical and patient, with its greatest assets being the committed performances from Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, and the rest of its remarkably talented cast.

5 Let The Right One In Is A Haunting Love Story For The Ages

The Swedish vampire film Let The Right One In is still a movie that routinely comes up in discussions about subversive vampire films. It’s a tender story about connection that just happens to involve a vampire.

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The authentic and vulnerable bond that forms between young Oskar and the vampire Eli is transformative, as is the unpredictable direction that the movie continues down. The original Let The Right One In is immaculate, but it’s also a rare occasion where the subject matter is so compelling that even the English remake, Let Me In, is a satisfying experience.

4 What We Do In The Shadows Subverts Vampire Conventions To Hilarious Effect

There’s always a lot of potential in movies that take terrifying horror tropes and exploit their ridiculous nature for comedic effect. What We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary that shines a light on the highly absurd nature of vampires and it’s an absolute triumph. The movie deconstructs many different vampire archetypes over time and has so much to say. The inventive fun that’s present in Taika Waititi’s movie has become so infectious that it’s even been able to spin off into a successful television expansion, which has even more to say about vampires and the paranormal.

3 Tokyo Vampire Hotel Creates New Vampire Lore Through Bloody Visuals

Sion Sono is a fearless Japanese filmmaker that’s responsible for an extremely graphic and unconventional filmography. Sono is no stranger to nihilistic narratives and supernatural encounters, but Tokyo Vampire Hotel features the director’s revisionist take on vampires. The very busy movie introduces a special group of children who are destined to fight against Dracula’s clan for supremacy of the world. A nuclear apocalypse sets the stage for a bloody, unpredictable adventure that pushes creative ideas, such as vampires being vulnerable through their shadows, or the concept of a living, sentient hotel that’s the evolution of vampires.

2 Doctor Sleep Introduces A Very Different And Deadly Type Of Vampire

Sequels are inherently risky propositions, but Stephen King’s Shining follow-up, Doctor Sleep, tells an inspired new story about addiction and forgiveness. Doctor Sleep introduces Rose the Hat and her True Knot, a group of “vampires” that feed off their victims’ “steam,” rather than blood. It’s a process that turns out to be even more chilling. Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep is a success in the horror genre, but it also accomplishes a nearly impossible feat with how it functions as both a satisfying Doctor Sleep adaptation as well as a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s legendary film.

1 Chan-Wook Park’s Thirst Is A Modern Classic And Turns The Undead Into Art

Chan-Wook Park is a prolific filmmaker from South Korea who typically gets singled out for Oldboy, but every single one of his movies is a challenging masterpiece. Thirst pushes Park deep into the horror genre with a thoughtful story where a priest becomes a vampire but is too overcome with guilt to take any victims. Thirst becomes a deep examination of humanity and a delicate love story develops, which is almost too beautiful for words. Thirst effectively depicts the world in a harsh binary after the priest’s transformation but shows that this undead life is also full of fragile beauty.

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