in English

2011/1 – Outi Hakola

Seducing, Dangerous and Romantic Vampires

At the moment, vampires are the new black of entertainment industry. They thrill the readers of vampire novels and comic books, entice through pop music, are to be played with in the computer games, but also drew people to the cinemas and television sets. In my article I discuss the use of vampire characters in the recent movie and television series, such as Twilight, True Blood and Vampire Diaries.

In argue that the vampires in these films and television shows do not renew the imagery of sympathetic vampire made popular by Anne Rice, and for example, television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Instead, they build on this existing trend where vampires’ monstrosity is questioned and blurred and these characters are made more human in several ways. Instead of remaking the vampire characters, these recent stories place these sympathetic vampires in romantic relationships with the main heroines and thus, these stories concentrate on heterosexual romance. When the vampires are not only sympathetic but viewed through the loving eyes of their women partners, these new series manage to enhance vampires as ideal characters, not only for heroic actions, but for love, romance and coupling as well.

By becoming ideal targets for engagement these new stories do not only empower their viewers with freedom and sexuality. Instead, these stories also reveal the hidden conventionalism in Twilight, Vampire Diaries and also in True Blood.  Edward, Stefan and Bill are not only engaging and possibly dangerous lovers, but also they are conservative in their values. They commit to their heterosexual romances and prefer traditional family life values to free sexuality. This conventionalism is further stressed through their whiteness, none of the main sympathetic vampires or their women represent other races. Thus, not only are the new vampires sympathetic, but they are also combining ideas of empowerment and right to preserve traditional values at the same time.