Some things in life serve only to induce rage. No matter how small these annoyances may be, they are never insignificant. 'Rant List' is the chronicle of one self-loathing narcissist's seemingly unending pettiness.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

18. Twilight and its depiction of vampires

^ No, I didn't draw this but yes, it is amazing.

Yes, I know it's oh-so fashionable to rip on Twilight nowadays and yes, there's a wealth of people who do a much better job at it than I ever could (for instance, Alex Reads Twilight on Youtube basically sums up why Stephanie Meyer is a disgrace of an author - the mind boggles how she got her sloppily written emotional-porn published). But I have one particular gripe with the book / film / dried out cash cow - its utterly dull depiction of vampires.

Vampires are a fascinating sect of folk lore. Whilst of course rarely more than fictitious, vampires have often been used as the central subject for a plethora of literary materials that air the grievances of their chronological context. For instance, sustaining themselves on the blood of the living has always lent vampires the ability to make comment on a society's repressed sexual tension. Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' made a point of this and focussed itself succinctly on Victorian anxieties as a whole, bringing in themes of immigration, cultural amalgamation and patriarchy via the medium of the titular character and his impact on Whitby, England. It even went as far as to cleverly use the vampyric infection as a metaphor for the Victorian concerns over syphilis and disease in general.

But pretentious intellectualism aside, the vampire is unanimously a creature that instils fear. They are intelligent, high class and strong as shown in a wealth of different materials; Dracula, Castlevania, Blade - hell, even True Blood at least makes them a bit of a bad-ass. How does Twilight portray vampires? As uninteresting emo children who are incapable of functioning beyond nonsensical love interests. Stephanie Meyer is lost in a world of pseudo-gothic imagery and 14 year old girl romances. Vampires don't sparkle and fall in love with overtly depressed girls called Bella, they feast on people and attempt to deal with some kind of inner struggle.

It has been argued that vampires are often used to air the anxieties of of their time. I sincerely hope this doesn't apply to Twilight, as that means the most important concerns our society can muster are angst ridden tendencies of non-expression and pale men with greasy hair.

1 comment:

  1. What about Buffy?!

    Also it sickens me that the first source of anything vampire-related for kids these days may well come from Twilight, thus poisoning their view of the genre from there on in. :(