When Were Vampires Ever Scary?
Often times when I hear people pissing and moaning about the vampires of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries and so on, I can’t help but do an internal eye role. They usually say the same old things, like…
“Vampires aren’t supposed to fall in love, that’s not scary!”
“Vampires kill humans, they don’t befriend them!”
“Vampires are supposed to rip humans to bloody shreds!”
And the biggest comment of all is…
“Vampires are supposed to be scary, like the used to be back in the day!”
That last comment is the one that stops me every time. I always have the instant urge to ask them, “When were vampires ever scary?” Yes, there are loads of scary modern day vampire films and books that showcase truly terrifying vampires, like 30 Days of Night for example. But those that are complaining are talking about vampires in entertainment from “back in the day.” The first vampire movies and books. I hate to break it to the haters, but those weren’t scary, and not only that, but they feature a lot of the things people hate so much nowadays.
Take Bram Stoker’s Dracula for example, it’s the big vampire book that started it all. The classic book features an epic romance, a dapper and handsome vampire, and more. See, even vampires books from back in the day had romance and sexy vampires. And is Dracula scary? No. Not once when I was reading the book as a child was I afraid. It has elements of horror, it is indeed a horror novel, but it’s not any scarier than many of our modern day vampire novels that people bitch so much about. Of course, Dracula is better than those books in countless ways, but using the “vampires are supposed to be scary!” argument as a reason why it’s better does not work.
The thing is, I can’t think of a single vampire film or book from ages ago that’s truly scary, and that is why the argument about how new vampires in entertainment are lame because they aren’t scary like they once were, bothers me. Yes, vampires in classic stories and old black and white films weren’t cute fluffy bunnies, but they weren’t terrifying beasts either. They didn’t brutally mutilate their prey like in recent vampire horror films. They had an element of horror, but not in a nightmare-worthy way.
I can think of a 101 reasons to hate books like Twilight, but it not being scary like it’s “supposed to be” is not one of them.
So, to those that complain about modern vampires not being scary like before, I ask, “When were they ever scary?”
Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).