They say blood is thicker than water, so does that mean vampire families are tighter than regular families? I’d say yes because in vampire movies, family is a term that can apply to more than just fathers, mothers, and siblings. Vampire families are often close-knit groups that come together and bond through their mutual thirst blood and struggles to live amongst humans.
There are a few examples of vampire moms and dads, so this list will be peppered with found and biological family. Regardless, it seems that right after blood, family is the most important thing to vampires, especially in their journey throughout immortality. But if this list shows us anything, it shows that being stuck with the same people for centuries is truly exhausting.
10. The Cullens in Twilight (2008)
Yes, I know the general feelings towards Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight. Yes, sparkly vampires are silly. Yes, the film is cheesy. But damn if it did not give us one of the best examples of found vampire family. The Cullens are a family of seven living in the small, rainy town of Forks, Washington: Carlisle (Peter Facinelli, Nurse Jackie), Esme (Elizabeth Reaser, The Haunting of Hill House), Edward (Robert Pattinson, The Lighthouse), Emmett (Kellan Lutz, Immortals), Rosalie (Nikki Reed, Thirteen), Alice (Ashley Greene, The Apparition) and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone, The Last Airbender). On the outside, it appears it is just a married couple and their five equally hot adopted high-school-aged children. But it is soon revealed that each Cullen is a vampire, turned at various times throughout history. They all came together and now pose as a normal family to avoid suspicion. Too bad their astonishingly good looks make them stand out like sore thumbs.
9. The Vampire Coven in Underworld (2003)
What is a coven other than a massive family of people with shared interests and goals? That’s why the vampire coven of Underworld makes this list. All of the members seemingly live together in one massive mansion full of over-stuffed furniture. They also have three vampire leaders, all ancient god-like figures who are cyclically resurrected to lead the charge against the coven’s enemy: the Lycans. These two warring groups, or families, are similar to William Shakespeare’s Capulets and Montagues, as vampire Selene (Kate Beckinsale, Vacancy) and werewolf Michael (Scott Speedman, The Strangers) fall in love despite everything.
8. Edward and Frankie Dalton in Daybreakers (2009)
In The Spierig Brother’s 2009 film Daybreakers, family is a source of anger instead of a source of support. Hematologist Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke, Sinister) lives in a world where vampires rule and humans are hunted as food. Dalton was forcibly turned into a vampire by his brother Frankie (Michael Dalton, Triangle). Frankie didn’t want to be alone in vampirism and bit his brother without consent. This breeds resent and anger between the two of them as Edward swears off human blood. Their brotherhood is a source of conflict throughout Daybreakers as Edward navigates what family truly means to him when he meets a surviving group of humans.
7. Eleanor and Clara in Byzantium (2012)
As you grow up, you gain independence and earn the privilege of moving out of your parents’ house. You can experience life on your own and make your own decisions. Unless you’re Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan, Ladybird) from Byzantium. She and her mother, Clara (Gemma Arterton, The Girl With All The Gifts), are both vampires and travel the world to keep their identities a secret. However, Eleanor begins to resent her mother’s overprotective nature. She wants to travel by herself, make her own rules, and meet boys (just like most teenagers). However, Clara’s paranoia is an iron grip around Eleanor as she tries to protect her daughter from other vampires and a grisly death.
6. The Group in Near Dark (1987)
Kathryn Bigelow’s (Zero Dark Thirty) vampire western Near Dark in a cult classic. While none of the film’s vampires are technically related, they are yet another example of a found family who band together to help curb their bloodlust. The group, led by Jesse Hooker (Lance Henriksen, Pumpkinhead), thrives on trust; they cannot let in another member until they have gained that trust. The group is made up of the psychotic Severen (Bill Pullman, Twister), Diamondback (Jeanette Goldstein, ), Mae (Jenny Wright, ), and Homer (Joshua John Miller). They all travel the countryside looking for food and chaos.
5. Louis, Lestat, and Claudia in Interview With The Vampire (1994)
Interview With The Vampire, among many things, addresses what happens when a little girl grows up a vampire and what happens when she acts like an adult but still looks like a child. Louis (Brad Pitt, Ad Astra) feeds on a little girl Claudia (Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia) and accidentally kills her. His companion Lestat (Tom Cruise, Mission Impossible) then turns Claudia in hopes of enticing Louis to stay with him. So, the two raise Claudia as their own daughter, forming a strange bloodthirsty family that stalk dark streets around the world. As Claudia mentally grows up, she becomes increasingly frustrated with being treated like a child by strangers and Lestat. Like any adult, she wants to be seen and treated as such by her parental figures. So like any teenager, she rebels in the bloodiest way possible.
4. Alucard and Dracula in Castlevania (2019)
Netflix’s animated adaptation of the classic Konami video game Castlevania is a surprisingly emotional show, once you look past the bloody violence. It becomes particular emotional in the second season when Count Dracula must fight his son, Alucard, who is half-human and half-vampire. Dracula does not want to kill his only child, but he is also so full of rage at the cruelty of human beings. Like most dads, he does not know how to communicate with his son and have a conversation. Instead, Dracula wants to commit mass genocide. This dysfunctional vampire family is full of resentment, anger, and grief over the loss of Dracula’s wife and Alucard’s mother. Essentially, they are like any family except the stakes are higher and the whole scenario is a lot bloodier. Sometimes family fights involve the fate of humanity!
3. Eve and Ava in Only Lovers Left Alive (2012)
Jim Jarmusch’s (The Dead Don’t Die) melancholic Only Lovers Left Alive centers on the relationship between two vampire lovers Adam (Tom Hiddleston, Crimson Peak) and Eve (Tilda Swinton, Suspiria). The couple has been together for centuries, experiencing the highs and lows of any romance. But then, Eve’s sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska, Crimson Peak) enters the picture. Her chaotic energy drives a wedge between the lovers, and honestly, whose annoying sibling doesn’t. Eve and Ava must navigate their tumultuous relationship while Eve and Adam must try to rekindle theirs. Being immortal unfortunately doesn’t make you immune to the fights and quibbles of humanity.
2. Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav in What We Do In The Shadows (2014)
These three vampires are just trying to be the boys next door in Taika Waititi’s mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows. Viago (Waititi), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh, Mega Time Squad), and Vladislav (Jemaine Clement, Flight Of The Conchords) are roommates each trying to navigate the contemporary world as vampires. They bicker like siblings and argue about chores, such as cleaning the blood of the dishes. But despite centuries of disagreement, they are ultimately there for one another, such as drawing what their outfits look like since they can’t use mirrors. These blood-sucking boys are a prime example of the fluidity of the word family.
1. The Sackville-Baggs Family in The Little Vampire (2000)
The best part of moving to Scotland is definitely meeting a vampire family whose patriarch is played by the one and only Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?). At least that’s what happens in the vampire classic, The Little Vampire, starring Jonathan Lipnicki (Stuart Little). 9-year-old Tony moves to the UK and into what is essentially as a castle when his dad gets a new job. Being the American that he is, none of the kids at school like him. Sad and alone, Tony finally makes a new friend: Rudolph (Rollo Weeks, The Thief Lord), who he learns is a vampire.
But Rollo isn’t alone; his parents Frederick (Grant) and Freda (Alice Krige, Silent Hill), brother Gregory (Dean Cook, Highlander), and sister Anna (Anna Popplewell, The Chronicles of Narnia) are vampires, too. They all live together trying to avoid the vampire hunter Rookery (Jim Carter, Downton Abbey) and discover a way to turn themselves human again. It is sweet. It is pure. It is a vampire family movie through and through.