Halloween is creeping closer, which means that there are only a few weeks left before you have to rotate out your horror movie collection and rotate in a steady visual diet of Elf and Love Actually. Maybe you've already been through your traditional Halloween movies. Twice. In that case, it's time to introduce yourself to some new-to-you chillers or just rediscover movies that may have slipped your mind. It can help to start with a theme you like. And in Halloween horror, theme equals "creature." One of the longest-reigning monsters in popular culture is the vampire. Filmmakers can't get enough of these nocturnal, blood-sucking creatures. Vampires have even migrated from horror to comedy and — in the case of a certain sparkly YA phenomenon — even romance. These 14 vampire movies are worth revisiting, especially at this time of year.
What is it about vampires that makes them so ripe for adaptation? There's the seduction aspect, which several of the movies below play up. There's the fact that the rules are so universally known and thus are ripe for parody. I think audiences and storytellers love vampires because they're "other" — outsiders just trying to get by in a human world. Let this list inspire you to spend a few evenings with these night creatures and decide for yourself what makes them endure. Besides the immortality, of course.
1. Fright Night
The original "vampire-moves-in-next-door" movie came out in 1985 and is also great. But the 2011 Fright Night remake features a performance by the staggeringly talented Anton Yelchin, who died in a tragic accident earlier this year.
2. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
This moody, Persian-language film flips many misogynistic vampire conventions upside down; it's been recognized as an important piece of feminist horror.
3. The Lost Boys
It's the '80s and the vampires are the cool kids you're afraid to pass on the boardwalk.
4. Let The Right One In
A human child and a youthful vampire form an unconventional friendship in this 2008 Swedish film.
5. Only Lovers Left Alive
Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton had to have been the only possible choices to play a sickeningly devoted and artsy couple who just happen to drink blood to survive.
6. Interview With The Vampire
Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt don ponytails and white face makeup to play novelist Anne Rice's Lestat and Louis. A 12-year-old Kristen Dunst also appears.
Wesley Snipes plays a part-vampire human with a mission to protect humans from vampires. It's the Dexter model of vigilantism.
8. The Hunger
Susan Sarandon finds herself entangled with a glamorous vampire couple played by Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie. Deneuve and Sarandon's love scene is particularly famous.
9. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Sarah Michelle Gellar wouldn't have been invited to Sunnydale if the movie the Joss Whedon series was based on had never been made. The tone is vastly different to the WB's Buffy, with 100% more Valley Girl speak.
Horror legend Bela Lugosi played the most famous of his kind in this 1931 adaptation of a successful Dracula stage play.
11. What We Do In The Shadows
Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi and Flight Of The Conchords' Jermaine Clement are the brains behind this tongue-in-cheek mockumentary where modern vampires are the subject.
12. Bram Stoker's Dracula
This Francis Ford Coppola movie is a bit of a muddle, but who can resist the very 1992 casting of Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder as Jonathan and Mina Harker, respectively?
13. From Dusk Till Dawn
George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino (who also wrote the script) are brothers who pick the wrong bar in which to hide out while they're on the run from the FBI. A TV adaptation of From Dusk Till Dawn is currently in its third season on the El Rey network.
Wrap a scarf around your neck and sink your teeth into these worthwhile vampire movies.
Image: Walt Disney Studios