Vampires have long been an interesting and fascinating aspect of fiction, from their debuts in writing to their transition into other forms of art, they have satisfied humanity’s desire to explore the immortal, to voyeuristically encounter a creature that may look and seem like us but secretly thirsts for blood. Vampirism is exciting, and it has been a staple of cinema since the first major circulation of a vampire-like creature in the early 1920s. There have been so many movie versions of the vampire over the years that sometimes the good and the most influential get lost in discussions about the most famous of them all, Dracula, but in this list we’re looking to correct that somewhat and offer some of cinema’s best vampires the notoriety they deserve.
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10. Aro – The Twilight Saga (2008-2012)
Arguably the most famous vampire franchise of the 21st century, Twilight has had an incomparable effect on popular culture, but it only just makes this list with its enigmatic character Aro.
The Twilight franchise on the whole brought about the new age ‘sparkling vegetarian vampires’ that have divided many opinions over the years, not least with regard to whether they should even be considered “true vampires”, but Aro is certainly the series’ most sinister vampiric creature.
Aro is the leader of the Volturi, a brotherhood of vampires enforcing vampire law in Rome, and is shown to kill fellow vampire clans using his wit, his cunning and his mind-reading powers. He also recruits the strongest of the vampires he encounters, making him a truly powerful presence in the Twilight universe; one who (along with the Volturi) feasts on human beings.
Aro, played by Michael Sheen, is one of the redeeming vampires in a somewhat lackluster vampire story, his bloodthirsty edge and endless pursuit for power making him as interesting as anyone in the Twilight universe.
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9. Blade – Blade Trilogy (1998-2004)
“Some motherf***ers are always trying to ice-skate uphill.”
A half mortal and half vampire hybrid, Marvel Comics creation Blade has one aim: to kill as many vampires as he can in order to avenge his mother and stop an evil God.
Blade is a fierce vampire and helps to perpetuate our societal love of the anti-hero protagonist – you can’t help but to root for him, despite the fact he’s a ruthless killer with seemingly no remorse.
More the anti-hero of an action film than an out-and-out horror, Blade isn’t quite as iconic as some of the vampires to come on this list, but he is important, unique and memorable in his own way. The name alone is enough to invoke memories of the leather wearing badass out for vengeance.