As far as the undead are concerned, Dracula seems to be making a comeback in popularity. Last year’s Reinfield featured none other than Nicholas Cage as the immortal monster and this week’s The Last Voyage of the Demeter is the most recent horror movie about Bram Stoker’s most infamous Prince of Darkness to hit theaters. In this adaptation, Spanish actor Javier Botet (It Chapter One) takes on the mantle of Dracula.
But this sea-based horror is far from the only time the old Count with a penchant for young virgin blood appears on the silver screen. While Dracula movies are plentiful, not all are as terrifying as the ones on this list. So gather your garlic, ready your stakes, and hit play on these 15 blood-curdling movies about the Vampire Lord.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
- Director: Francis Ford Coppola
- Starring: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins
Official synopsis: In this faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic, young barrister Jonathan Harker is trapped by the undead Dracula in a gloomy Eastern European village. Dracula is lured to London by a photograph of Harker’s fiancée, Mina Murray, and unleashes a wave of seduction and terror. As he drains the life from Mina’s friend Lucy Westenra, her circle of friends assembles to expel Dracula and end his reign of darkness.
- Director: F.W. Murnau
- Starring: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim
Official synopsis: The first-ever adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel follows an estate agent sent to sell a house to Count Orlok in Transylvania. Hutter encounters eerie events and realizes Orlok is a vampire. Meanwhile, Orlok heads to Wisbourg, bringing death. Hutter rushes back to save his wife Ellen. Discovering a sacrificial solution, Ellen faces a perilous choice. Can Hutter rescue Ellen from Nosferatu’s grasp and prevent her self-sacrifice?
The Brides of Dracula (1960)
- Director: Terence Fisher
- Starring: Peter Cushing, Martita Hunt, Yvonne Monlaur
Official synopsis: En route to Transylvania, a young teacher aids a man’s escape from his overbearing mother, inadvertently releasing undead horrors upon the town, including her school for girls. With fortune on their side, Dr. Van Helsing is en route to help.
- Director: John Badham
- Starring: Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasence
Official synopsis: After a storm sinks the ship carrying Count Dracula’s possessions to Yorkshire, he emerges as the sole survivor. Found by enamored Mina Van Helsing, his presence becomes intertwined with the lives of Lucy Seward, her fiance Jonathan Harker, and her father Dr. Jack Seward, who runs a local asylum.
Van Helsing (2004)
- Director: Stephen Sommers
- Starring: Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh
Official synopsis: Van Helsing, a determined monster hunter, arrives to combat evil, even against dissenting voices. Commissioned by the Vatican, he and his ally Carl journey to Transylvania with a mission to halt the formidable Count Dracula. There, they team up with the Gypsy Princess Anna Valerious, committed to breaking a generational curse by defeating the vampire.
- Directors: Tod Browning, Karl Freund
- Starring: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners
Official synopsis: Estate agent Renfield embarks on a journey to Transylvania to finalize a real estate deal with Count Dracula. Ignoring local warnings of impending evil, Renfield becomes unwittingly ensnared as the vampire’s unwilling servant.
- Creators: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat
- Starring: Claes Bang, Dolly Wells, Morfydd Clark
Official synopsis: Jonathan Harker’s journey to Transylvania for a business deal becomes a nightmarish ordeal when he becomes trapped in a labyrinthine castle with undead brides and a power-hungry vampire Count intent on world domination.
Count Dracula (1977)
- Director: Philip Saville
- Starring: Louis Jourdan, Frank Finlay, Susan Penhaligon
Official synopsis: This adaptation closely mirrors Bram Stoker’s novel, with Jonathan Harker assisting the Count’s move to England but finding himself imprisoned and exposed to Dracula’s sinister reality. As Dracula reaches England, Harker joins the mission to locate and eliminate him, leading to a pursuit back to the vampire’s castle.
Dracula 2001 (2000)
- Director: Patrick Lussier
- Starring: Gerard Butler, Justine Waddell, Jonny Lee Miller
Official synopsis: In the modern retelling of this timeless Gothic horror, Abraham Van Helsing, having previously battled Count Dracula, assumes the role of an English antiques dealer. When a group of thieves inadvertently release the Dark Prince, he seeks revenge against his old foe.
Dracula II: Ascension (2003)
- Director: Patrick Lussier
- Starring: Jennifer Kroll, Jason Scott Lee, Craig Sheffer
Official synopsis: A cohort of medical students stumble upon the remains of the notorious count. A perilous ordeal starts when a mysterious figure offers them $30 million in exchange for the body.
11 Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula (2000)
- Director: Joe Chappelle
- Starring: Rudolf Martin, Jane March, Christopher Brand
Official synopsis: Seeking vengeance for his father’s death and to free his kingdom from Turkish rule, Vlad the Impaler raises an army and ignites a brutal revolution that swiftly engulfs the land. Amidst the warfare, his sadism intensifies, with his favored method of execution being impalement. As he gains notoriety, the Church spreads tales of his bloodlust and vampiric nature.
Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966)
- Director: Terence Fisher
- Starring: Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Andrew Keir
Official synopsis: Venturing into Eastern Europe, two couples ignore ominous local warnings and venture to Karlsbad. Stranded near the village as night falls, they take refuge in a nearby castle, welcomed by the enigmatic Klove. Unbeknownst to them, the deceased owner, Count Dracula, has long awaited their arrival, harboring an eerie agenda.
- Director: Terence Fisher
- Starring: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough
Official synopsis: In a remote Transylvanian castle, Jonathan Harker fails to eliminate Count Dracula, and he falls prey to the vampire’s influence. Dracula infiltrates the Harker family, driven by a thirst for blood and retribution. Dr. Van Helsing, a devoted friend, and fellow vampire expert, emerges as their last hope for protection.
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
- Director: Werner Herzog
- Starring: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz
Official synopsis: Sent to sell a house to Count Dracula, Jonathan Harker becomes ensnared in the vampire’s castle. The count becomes captivated by a photo of Harker’s wife and relocates to Wismar, where he spreads death and plague. This version of Dracula delves into the vampire’s curse of eternal life, unable to age and die.
Dan Curtis’ Dracula (1974)
- Director: Dan Curtis
- Starring: Jack Palance, Simon Ward, Nigel Davenport
Official synopsis: Solicitor Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to assist Count Dracula in a real estate transaction. Ensnared by female vampires, he narrowly escapes the castle.
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