I love a good horror movie, but some really do not give me that punch of fear anymore. For the past two weeks, I’ve done nothing but look up vampires, either for blog ideas or for the favored YouTube channel. Seriously. Go watch Peru, Vampires, and Hungary. Full of vampires. Almost no ghosts. My randomizer for choosing haunted countries is mocking me. But, these introductions to the creature made me realize that my fear of vampires is nulled.
Anyways, I decided to look up a lot on vampires to further my education on the pointy beasts. I quickly realized that vampires just aren’t scary anymore. Now, since we are talking about media, let me add in my quick disclaimer.
Warning! Spoilers on movies, books, and shows ahead.
Okay. Now, let’s get into vampires and their magical ability to not cause scares since about 2012. You may know what movies I am about to talk about and the big series we will happily gloss over, but this is a discussion, not a democracy. You’ll have to read about Twilight.
The books of vampires
I will say, there are not many mainstream books on vampires. Many of them align with demons and angels. I want to blame Bram Stoker for giving us a great adaptation of a vampire, only for everyone else to want to lust after them. I know the book isn’t directly about vampires, just uses Dracula as an illustration.
Moving along, we get to ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. A prolific writer turned arsonist in a novel that I cannot get enough of. Then again, I’ve read most of King’s work and I can never put them down. It was a mesmerizing book and I do need to read it again.
There are other vampire novels out there, but I really haven’t read them, so I cannot give much indication on the ones from then on. That is, until I got to Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Yes, I did read all the first 4 books. They were a good read for the time as Harry Potter was also selling like crazy, but only came out every few years. It was a good way to pass the time.
Also, I think it was Eclipse that had the baby vampire army in it. The books were much more graphic than the movies.
You can thank the 18th century Hapsburg empire for vampire books. They ran rampant during that time and I’m all for it. In 1748, Heinrich August Ossenfelder wrote a book called Der Vampir. Read this one at your own expense because it has most vampire longing than any book series.
The movies of vampires
In the massive collection of movies with vampires, there are granted classics. Say what you will about them, these gems were what made vampires good. While you have some that were more about brooding and lust. I lumped these two together as in some movies, they mix.
- Interview with the Vampire
- Queen of the Damned
Some were more about the hunt, which have the main cast as vampire killers, not the vampire itself. Movies like:
- I Am Legend
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Van Helsing
I know Blade also has a vampire lead, but it is still about the killing. Then, you have the classic slashers.
- 30 Days of Night
- The Lost Boys
- Vampire’s Kiss
But nowadays, these are considered classics, or at least outdated. As of late, the only the shows overtake the movies. I do think it is because of after a craze of seeing them as monsters and lovers, you instead see them as saviors.
The shows of vampires
I can write about these all day and it was the reason for this posting. You see, you can write and shoot vampire sequences all day, but they typically end up just being about one type of vampire. Shows can really go into the depths of vampire lore, whichever route they take. Some shows get a movie counterpart, and most of screen media comes from books.
Most of these shows come from books, and I’m including comic books on that list. Much like the movies, shows take the already written word and give it some screen time.
I was getting tired of the normal vampire. Either they are crazed and lusting, like in Tru Blood, or just an input of villain that only wants one thing, like in Strain. Strain is a good show, still. In many cases, the vampires were human. They should show more emotion than just screaming and hissing. That is why when I watched Midnight Mass a few weeks ago, I was astounded by what Netflix came across.
A vampire being used as a religious prophet is quite a jump from how they are typically perceived. While this one worked telepathically, it still had a better range of abilities than most of the stereotypical vampire. While the show itself wasn’t scary, it gave a new vision of how to use vampires.
The undead need to be scary again
Understanding the fact that you can only do so much with a creature of the night, the vampire still does fall under the same trope again and again. They are versatile. They can still be reimagined. While there are other media that can be said to be the refresher of their time, you’ve seen that I’ve gone after recent mass media.
There are some good productions out there that are less known, but this is of Hollywood’s opinion of what they want vampires to be. It is a travesty to see that vampires get the short end of the stake while witches and zombies get better adaptations. We won’t talk of werewolves, as they really are on the backburner of paranormal monster horror. Vampires have so much more potential than what the screen gives them, and I do hope they get their decade, much like zombies did. Of course, they do need to expand on what vampires can do. An immortal creature of the night that intelligently feasts on blood should have more tropes than seduction and aimless murder.
You know you want the fear back, too.