One argument that’s been bothering me lately is the claim that the TWILIGHT franchise ruined vampire movies for good. I don’t agree with this statement, because not only is it silly to assume that one series ruined an entire sub-genre, but it seems that making such a bold claim about a film that a person dislikes only gives said film more power than it deserves. I, personally, am not a fan of TWILIGHT, but I still feel the need to explain why this cult classic didn’t “ruin” any chances of future creatures of the night successfully gracing the silver screen. The purpose of this post isn’t in defense of TWILIGHT, but rather, in defense of vampire movies, one of my favorite types of quality monster entertainment.
1. You can still watch your favorite vampire movies.
Just because there’s a popular interpretation of your favorite creature out in theaters that you dislike, doesn’t mean that anything is stopping you from viewing your top vamp flicks at home. The solution for avoiding movies you frown upon is pretty simple: don’t see them. Every time you attend a film in theaters, you donate your hard earned money to it’s financial success, and possibly, even encourage a sequel. Of course, you can’t really know if you’ll like a movie until you watch it, but if you have strong negative feelings from the first time you see the trailer, maybe you should skip it — at least until a friend forces you to watch their copy.
2. Vampire/human romance existed long before TWILIGHT.
Some say that TWILIGHT destroyed vamps forever because it turned them into impish softies who long for human interaction. While I’ll admit that there are some pretty cheesy portrayals of the creatures of the night, I wouldn’t blame it on Edward and Bella. They definitely weren’t the first dead and undead lovers in film. Buffy and Angel canoodled constantly on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER back in the 1990s, Star and Michael shared a steamy night in THE LOST BOYS in the 1980s, and even BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, both the film and original book (written in the 1897!) display an unrequited romance that lasts forever between Dracula and Mina. Simply put, the idea of pairing a madame with a monster has been around forever, it can just become a tad frivolous when you add sparkles.
3. Finding fault in TWILIGHT only makes you appreciate the vampire films you love more.
Upset by the lack of monster in the Cullen clan’s physical appearances? Doesn’t that make you appreciate Tom Holland’s FRIGHT NIGHT even more? Do you think the dialogue is lacking? When you need more intellectual conversations, watch BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA instead, and get swept off of your feet by Gary Oldman’s stunning delivery. Unhappy with the lack of sexual advances by a creature who’s usually known for his seduction skills? Isn’t it nice that movies like KISS OF THE DAMNED exist to satisfy your need for a more sinister viewing? Sometimes, it takes a movie we don’t really care for, to truly appreciate the ones we already hold dear.
4. Any kind of popular horror is good for the genre as a whole.
Success at the box office for one scary movie means that more horror films have a chance of hitting the big screen. Think about it — if one horror movie makes a large profit its first weekend in theaters, it sends a sign to producers that they can make more money by financing a film in the same genre. The more accomplishments that films of the macabre attain, the more likely it is that they will make an appearance at mainstream theaters more often. Eventually, films of the same nature might even appear in more theaters around the country, and possibly the whole world. Even if you’re not a fan of a certain flick, you have to appreciate what it means in the long run for horror.
5. Watching TWILIGHT opens the door to other vampire movies.
Movies like TWILIGHT expose audiences to a type of genre that they may not have known they liked. Some people may disregard horror films because they haven’t seen any yet that they enjoyed. However, once a person discovers that he or she fancies blood suckers, the more likely it becomes that he or she will start watching other vampire films. As the fascination grows, he or she could even go as far as tracking down older films, to see some of the earliest depictions. That particular person might even realize that he or she is actually quite find of horror, and learns to love the whole genre. And when it comes to horror, the more fans, the merrier.