It’s true. Vampires suck. Vampire stories bore me to tears usually. They offer very little in the way of what I would consider real fright. They have their place in horror history, of course, but for me the best stories with vampires in them are only good because of everything else going on around them.
30 Days of Night had a cool concept. Salem’s Lot had interesting characters. Nosferatu just looked creepy and amazing. None of those movies, books, or comic books featured a vampire or vampires that really terrified me, however, and those are some of my favorites.
Anne Rice made vampires acceptable to a modern audience. Interview With the Vampire sold amazingly well and introduced a generation of young ladies to the goth lifestyle. Far from being a horror story, though, it is a romance with some horrific things tossed in to keep you awake. And don’t even get me started on the Twilight series…
So why do I dislike vampires so much? I get the symbolism, and I actually like it. Truth be told, I find that fascinating strictly from a sociological point of view. When it comes down to it, I don’t like vampires simply because I don’t find them scary. Sunlight vanquishes (most) of them. They have to be invited in for a snack. And for the most part they are just too human-like to actually give me the creeps. Notice that the first three works I mentioned in the beginning all had vampires in them that looked hideous and frightening … and those truly are my favorite vampire creations.
The vampire, as usually presented, is just too safe. Their stories are campfire tales for people who don’t camp. They are the same folks who often wish they were vampires or knew one, too. Notice how few people wish they were Leatherface or would even contemplate inviting him in for a drink. Today’s vampires are your friends. They are cool, and they are cursed. I, on the other hand, want a vampire that will rip your throat open and bathe in the blood because it is savage. It is a predator. You are prey. Those tales rarely come along, but when they do, I tend to take notice.
What, if anything, attracts you to the vampire story? I would seriously love to know. Perhaps I am missing something I just haven’t thought of yet. Tell me what you think. I promise I won’t bite … much.
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