If there is one horror movie sub-genre which has endured throughout the history of cinema, it is the vampire movie. From Nosferatu (1922) and Dracula (1931) to Blade (1998) and The Transfiguration (2017), vampire movies have remained popular with audiences throughout the decades.

For me, the vampire movie genre really captured my imagination during the 1980s. It was in this decade that I truly fell in love with vampire films, and in large part because of just three motion pictures.

In this post I am highlighting the three movies, which I believe are the three best vampire movies of the 1980s. These are the films that convinced me of the greatness of vampire stories.


Near Dark (1987)

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, Near Dark is a cult Neo-Western about a nomadic family of vampires. The movie – which stars Adrian Pasdar, Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton – demonstrates the allure of vampirism, as well as the difficulties of living in the vampire world.

This film is both bleak and beautiful – a perfect combination – yet is often overlooked in favour of the two movies below. This is a shame, because Near Dark is a superb picture which offers something a little different.

Fright Night (1985)

Image: ©Columbia Pictures

Directed by Tom Holland, Fright Night stars Roddy McDowall and Chris Sarandon and follows the story of a teenager who becomes convinced his neighbour is a vampire. In order to prove his theory, the boy enlists the assistance of an expert in vampire lore – but the expert is not quite the hunter he appears to be on television!

Fright Night is one of the best-loved horror movies from the 1980s and it’s not difficult to see why. The film mixes horror with humour, to present a wickedly fun fright fest.


The Lost Boys (1987)

Image: ©Warner Bros.

Would it be fair to say this is one of the best vampire movies of all-time? Hmm… that all depends on how much you enjoy Joel Schumacher-directed movies.

Either way, I would argue The Lost Boys is the No. 1 vampire film from the 1980s. The story of a family who move to California and encounter a gang of vampires, is just as popular today as it was back in 1987.

Cast members include Kiefer Sutherland, Dianne Wiest, Corey Feldman and Corey Haim. In short: There’s not much to dislike about The Lost Boys – it is quintessential viewing for fans of horror/vampire movies.


The three films listed above are all must-see vampire movies. All offer something different and all have developed an incredibly loyal fan base.

If you have not watched the three films highlighted above, or you have simply missed one, then rectify the situation as soon as possible – you’re missing out on three pictures you can really sink your teeth into.

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