Here’s the deal. Vampires used to be creepy. The last thing you’d want to meet in a dark alley. Worthy of our fear. Dracula was not huggable. No one ever produced pink, I Love Vlad the Impaler hoodies. Throngs of teenage girls never swooned over Nosferatu.
And vampires were never moody.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula has been adapted for the screen over 170 times (including ‘93’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula), and it’s gradually been so watered down, that today’s vampires are hardly recognizable. Vampires were blood-thirsty killers. Cannibals. Parasites. Sure, there was a certain allure – a dangerous charisma, but at the end of the day, it was all about survival, and that meant sucking you dry…not helping you get over your teenage angst.
Bottom line – vampires should never sigh.
I’ve never seen or read Twilight, but here’s what I garner. The vampires in that world aren’t particularly bothered by the sun (although it does, apparently, make them sparkly). Wooden stakes don’t kill them. They don’t have fangs. And garlic, holy water and crucifixes are no big deal. I can see why they have the time to mope, they live hundreds of years with nothing to worry about except that if they head out in the afternoon they might twinkle.
And it’s not just Cullen and company, it seems like all the blood suckers these days spend less time looking for a good meal and more time looking for a good therapist.
Come on, if you’re a vampire, and you’re immortal, how you know when to have your mid-life crisis? How can you spend so much time being reflective if you don’t even have a reflection? And since when do vampires keep diaries? (“Dear Diary…After agonizing over the state of the world all morning, I went out this afternoon and just glimmered.”)
Some die-hard fans will argue that these are re-envisioned vampires – different and special in their own way. I’ve seen the New Moon, Half Moon, Crescent Sliver trailers – those vampires jump around like bionic kangaroos. Those books were written by someone who didn’t know what a vampire was. You can’t just ignore the mythology and label your characters vampires because it seems sexy. Guess what – I just wrote a new werewolf screenplay. All of the werewolves are middle-aged accountants and whenever they see the moon they become covered in glitter and turn into break-dancing gerbils. It’s my re-envisioned werewolf.
These revamped vamps need to spend less time thinking, “Be positive,” and more time drinking B+.