For as long as most of us can remember, vampires have played a major role in pop culture. There are tons of books, movies, television shows, and more involving these mythological supernatural beings. Though they hit a new popularity boost in the late 2000s, they’ve been around for a long time.
A lot of these movies are considered classics by most fans and some are iconic. Think about From Dusk till Dawn or Nosferatu. Yet there are still plenty that get overlooked and are viewed by some as hidden gems. But there are also the ones with a reputation that is probably more generous than it deserves. These are our picks for the most underrated and overrated vampire flicks ever.
10 Overrated: Van Helsing
This 2004 film went on to become one of the highest-grossing movies of that year. Van Helsing paid homage to horror films from the 1930s and 1940s. The title character was inspired by the vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing from the Bram Stoker Dracula novel.
Van Helsing may have become a hit due to the popular casting choices of Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale. Though it’s still held in high esteem by some fans, it is a pretty flawed movie. There’s not much to any of the characters or storylines, and most of the effects make this a CGI mess.
9 Underrated: Daybreakers
In a world where there are so many vampire movies, it becomes incredibly refreshing to see a unique take on the genre. That’s what 2010’s Daybreakers gave us. It focused on a world where vampires ran the population and a major corporation looked to farm the remaining humans as they researched a substitute for human blood.
The film grossed $51.4 million and often gets left off when people recount their favorite vampire movies. But this boasted a strong cast featuring Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe, as well as a dark tone that helped it stand out from the crowd. It’s not a perfect movie but it is highly entertaining.
8 Overrated: The Lost Boys
Okay, here’s the one that we will get the most flak for. The Lost Boys is widely considered not to just be a great vampire movie, it is often viewed as the absolute best. You simply cannot discuss classic movies in the genre without mentioning this 1987 phenomenon.
There’s one thing you must remember when you see the word “overrated.” It doesn’t mean that something is bad. The Lost Boys is far from a bad movie. To us, it just doesn’t deserve to be held in the high regard it gets. Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, and others gave us iconic characters and moments. Just not at a “greatest of all time” level.
7 Underrated: Thirst
Foreign films get ignored way too often. Understandably, many people don’t want to read subtitles while watching a movie. Especially when they can’t understand what the characters are saying. That’s probably a major reason why 2009’s Thirst isn’t known to a lot of folks.
This Korean horror film is directed by Chan-wook Park, who is known for fantastic pictures like Oldboy and Sympathy For Lady Vengeance. For Thirst, Park delivered a darkly funny, uncensored romp about a priest who accidentally develops a third for blood after an experiment goes awry. If you can find it somewhere, it’s worth a viewing.
6 Overrated: The Twilight Saga
It might be viewed as a bit of cheating, but we’re grouping the entire Twilight franchise for this entry. To be fair, there are a lot of hardcore supernatural fans who loathe these movies with a passion. But there are even more people who will defend them with vigor and fury.
Based on the book series by Stephenie Meyer, the five films grossed nearly $3.5 billion in total. There are fans all over the world who adore these movies and they show it with things like extensive fan fiction storylines. Those folks consider it to be the holy grail of vampire movies. In actuality, the love story it hinges on doesn’t seem to hold any weight and the characters are pretty poorly written.
5 Underrated: 30 Days Of Night
Vampire movies can come in many shapes and sizes but sometimes it works to stick with the classics. 30 Days of Night is a 2007 horror film based on the comics miniseries of the same name. The story centers around a small town in Alaska that suffers through a month-long polar night.
During that time, the vampires come out and it leads to some of the most gripping action in a horror movie in recent memory. Josh Hartnett is great as the lead and the dark tone of the film is pitch-perfect. Unfortunately, it didn’t make much of an impact at the box office and is often overlooked by fans.
4 Overrated: Interview With The Vampire
The thought that there is a vampire movie out there starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise is kind of insane for a lot of people to comprehend. The two have gone on to become some of the biggest and most profitable actors in all of Hollywood. Maybe that’s why people say such positive things about this entry.
1994’s Interview with the Vampire follows Pitt and Cruise as they play vampires with a connection. They turn and raise a child, played by a young Kirsten Dunst, and the whole thing is framed in the form of an interview. It’s not a bad movie, but it is one that lacks a lot that could make it special.
3 Underrated: What We Do In The Shadows
It might be difficult to call this an overlooked or hidden gem at this point. What We Do In The Shadows has become something of a cult classic and has now spawned an FX television series of the same name. But the 2014 New Zealand movie still belongs in the underrated category.
What We Do in the Shadows is about a group of vampires who share a house in Wellington. The story is told in the form of a documentary similar to The Office or projects like that. It is one of the most hilarious films of the past decade and helped launch the likes of Taika Waititi into superstardom.
2 Overrated: Underworld
On paper, the idea behind 2003’s Underworld was one that should have delivered a classic. A consistent war between vampires and werewolves is the kind of thing that is ideal for a cinematic feature. Throw in a cast of Kate Beckinsale, Bill Nighy, and Michael Sheen and it sounds like a winner.
Unfortunately, Underworld left a lot to be desired outside of a stylish look and some cool visuals. But the film was a success and it spawned a franchise of sequels and more. The fans behind the series are a loyal bunch but there are far better vampire movies out there.
1 Underrated: Only Lovers Left Alive
Once again, we’re in a situation where vampire movies come in different forms. And it’s another case of one that’s based on a novel. Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive is the rare comedy-drama in the vampire genre and it is a superb film. One that was strong enough to be named in BBC’s list of the “Top 100 Greatest Films Since 2000.”
Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston star as two vampires in love and we watch as their relationship is chronicled. Along with those two stellar leads, the film includes Anton Yelchin, Mia Wasikowska, and Jeffrey Wright. Only Lovers Left Alive features an award-winning soundtrack and is masterfully written.