Are Your Kids Caught in the Vampire Craze?
Bram Stoker had no idea what he was starting when he created the iconic Dracula. Before Dracula” was published, vampires were the stuff of nightmares and very real to certain European cultures. Afterwards, the terrifying creatures captured the imaginations of writers, filmmakers and the general Western populace.
The Shift from Tradition
“Nosferatu,” an early silent film released in 1922, was loosely based on Stoker’s “Dracula.” It is scary in a way that resonates with audiences even today, but the main character, Count Orlock, creates a sense of sympathy and sadness. For a long time, vampires were some combination of utterly terrifying and extremely sad. Then Anne Rice came along with “Interview with a Vampire” and changed everything.
At first, authors kept the inhuman traits intact while slowly romanticizing the vampires. As years go on, writers continually push vampires toward being extremely long-lived humans rather than monsters. Sure, the monstrous traits come out in certain situations, but there is usually a clear distinction between the “good” vampires and the “bad” ones. The “Twilight” series, the “Sookie Stackhouse” novels and “The Vampire Diaries” novels are responsible for the latest resurgence in vampire-mania.
Modern Vampires in Film and Television
If the “Twilight” books were popular, they barely compare to the popularity of their movie adaptations. “Twilight,” while meant for teenage audiences, appeals to adults too. The current vampire-themed television series are “True Blood” and “The Vampire Diaries.” “True Blood,” based on the “Sookie Stackhouse” books, is a very adult series. “The Vampire Diaries,” adapted from the books of the same name, is for teenagers, but it appeals to a wider audience like “Twilight” does.
To catch up on “True Blood,” HBOGo, HBO’s streaming service, has several seasons available, but you must have an active cable subscription to take advantage of it. To get the full series, you will have to rent or buy the seasons on DVD or Blu-ray. However, you can start streaming The Vampire Diaries on Netflix starting with season one. Some of the “Twilight” movies are also available on Netflix.
“Twilight” offers the mildest take on the new sexy vampires, but despite their popularity, many vampire fans find the lack of certain vampire traits unappealing. “True Blood” and “The Vampire Diaries” let the primal side of vampires shine through regularly, which appeals to fans of the more traditional, gory vampires typically associated with blood-sucking. Interestingly, both television series have high-budget film quality effects, the characters have more depth and the vampires appeal to men and women of all ages.