Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu (The Dark Blue, 1871-1872) A very early vampire novella, constrained by attitudes of the time yet nonetheless pursuing a lesbian angle and affording an uncommon measure of female empowerment. Le Fanu for the most part hints subtly at the supernatural, but resorts at last to exposition.
Vampire Knight, Season 1 dir. Kiyoko Sayama (TV Tokyo, 2008) Stylised rather than stylish, its characters stilted in both posture and delivery (at least in the English dub), Vampire Knight stakes its appeal on an inscrutable human/vampire love triangle and carry-over from the manga. The end result is 100% daytime soap opera.
Elemental: Shadows of Otherside by Whitney Hill (Benu Media, 2020) An elemental spirit posing as human and working as a private investigator must find her way in the devious, dangerous world of North-Carolinian elves, vampires and djinn. Nicely paced and characterised. Marries the best elements of urban fantasy and hardboiled detective fiction.
Priest dir. Scott Stewart (2011) In a pseudo-futuristic dystopia, an excommunicated warrior priest confronts inner demons and a newly spawned vampire threat. The premise may not inspire but the plot at least hasn’t been twisted to throttle itself, allowing moody quiet moments to mollify the over-the-top action.
Dracula Untold dir. Gary Shore (2014) Though by no means as bad as the trailer would suggest, this attempt to turn Dracula into a brooding action hero (presumably for use in a modern-day sequel) is disingenuous at best. Students of Tinseltown relativity may delight in space-time’s incorrigible duplicity.
The Last Vampire by Willis Hall (The Bodley Head, 1982) A quintessentially middle-class English family encounters the last (vegetarian) vampire in this YA comedy of happenstance and misunderstanding. By fleshing out every character — even the wolves! — Willis Hall both draws attention to, and disabuses his readers of, the vampire tropes of legend.