Cinema goers have had a long-standing fascination with vampire movies. The latter echoes age-old archetypal themes people can readily identify with, while it allows for the vicarious scrutiny of the complexity and potency of human sexual impulses on screen. It also reflects contemporary transformations in social discourse pertaining to these issues. Looking at the movies also offer indirect insights into the psyche of the viewer.
The archetypal motifs and characters portrayed in these movies are among the genre’s appealing features. The on-screen portrayal of the good against evil theme around and within people has always spoken to the essence of the human condition. Back then folk could identify and sympathize with the vampire’s vain yet understandable struggle for not just immortality, but also to remain forever youthful, strong, and beautiful.
The vampire’s fight against inevitable extinction echoes this general fantasy in each viewer. Of course, in everyday life people do not ordinarily go to the extreme of sucking blood from others. Yet this quintessential vampiric act remains a powerful metaphor for the human situation. Not unlike the fanged demon needing victims to thrive in the dark, people do depend on others to survive.
The blood-sucking hero can only exist in darkness. This is of symbolic significance in that the sharp-toothed one’s dark desires exemplify people’s dark side. Like the despicable bat-lover, cinema fans do have self-centered dark fantasies of power, omnipotence and excessive predatory sexual indulgence.
Modern varieties of such flicks have increasingly used vampirism as a metaphor for human sexual awakening and loss of innocence. Older vampire cinematic portrayals of human sexuality have pretty much echoed the dominant cultural discourses on the sexual objectification of women. In most Dracula movies women are defenseless objects of predatory male lust.
However, many such modern films do challenge social conventions about human sexuality. As an example, one from the 1970s features a lesbian vampire stalking a new bride. In another, a Countess kissed the necks of female virgins and bathed in the blood, believing it would preserve the demon’s youth. Interview with the Vampire however focused on the male demons as sex objects, portraying the lead actors as seductive yet tortured souls.
As cinematic spectacles, vampire films have undergone changes. Themes of romance and love have come to dominate the modern genre. The current fashionable breed of teenage vampire cinema does not seem interested in scaring moviegoers. Instead, modern day vampires resemble catwalk models oozing loads of sex appeal on the screen. And instead of chasing after buckets of fresh human blood, these end up in impossible romantic relationships.
Cinema lovers find vampire movies fascinating because these exemplify themes and issues peculiar to the viewer’s own life. Battles of good and evil, the powerful and often problematic intrusions of sexual impulses, and transformations in cultural mores all find reflection in the genre. Thus, these flicks are appealing as it allows people to look at the darker side of human existence as entertainment spectacle at a safe distance in the darkness of the cinema theater.
Source by Adriana N.