“I don’t like Twilight” was the commentary that inspired this post, the sparkling will have to be put aside because this is not another article to accompany the trend that is; things with fangs. There’s plenty of time for one of those, less than five months, until Breaking Dawn part II hits theaters. It is interesting what has happened. Vampires are no longer sadistic, threatening and fearful but instead sexy, graceful, and brooding. Let’s discuss an issue that goes deeper, the symbolism beneath white, icy skin.
First, going on a comparison trip between Anne Rice and Twilight would help set the stage. Of course, neither of these examples are pioneers in their work. An Interview with a Vampire, the 1994 film starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt although a good movie inspired from Anne’s writings about Lestat a European blood-drinker, is not the first to review the Gothic perspective. Grittier vamps go further back than the 1800’s. Just as Twilight is not the first to give neck nibblers a touching twist, but both examples are notable enough for a then-now comparison. Back in the day, a term used loosely considering the vampire perspective has recently shifted in the past few years. They were garlic hating, morbid, coffin-sleeping, sun-sheltered creatures. Vampires nowadays are attractive and elegant. They have no fear of Kodak and are quite photogenic for that matter. Have vampires gone from blood fiends to passionate post-humans who are just misunderstood?
Vampires have undergone, not a transformation but rather a change; a slight tweak that puts them in a different light, only highlighting certain parts of who they are. A transformation is an occurrence from the inside out resulting in something completely different. The old has passed away and in its place is a new creation. A change is a different behavior, or altered pattern, something much less permanent and fallible. Vampires have not experienced a transformation but they have gone through adaptation. The traits of current vampires, their looks, their skills, their appeal, echoes those of the character formerly called Lucifer. In the Kingdom of Heaven he was the best and brightest among angels, he was an immaculate creation adorned in jewels of every kind; sapphires and diamonds and rubies. Lucifer was musically gifted beyond anyone else, basically he had it going on, and at some point in time he let it get to him. Scripture says pride rose in his heart, he was then cast out of Heaven and striped of his title-we know him as Satan. Kurt Bruner, author of The Twilight Phenomenon; forbidden fruit or thirst quenching fantasy?
Says this: “Satan is cunning and seductive like the vampires inspired by his reality. His most powerful weapon is the art of deception because those who are deceived don’t know it. They are easily led to their own destruction because they willingly follow a map filled with lies. What some call “spiritual warfare” is no more than a battle between truth and lies” (Bruner, 81). The vampire is personified deception, they are not who they seem.
What the world has done with vampires is the same thing it has done with sin. The reality of vampires is that they are murderers. They are selfish, driven by lust, taking the lives of others to sustain their own. Apparently, vampires do not know how to drink responsibly. They are the darkest parts of human nature. Evil with a pretty face is no less evil. Just as sin will always be sin, no matter how it appears. We have glamorized vampires just as we have glamorized sin-we don’t even like to use that word. It’s more comfortable to say misstep or mistake. We’ve made bad things comfortable and become desensitized, creating a narrow view, and deception only reveals enough to look real. Perhaps the appeal of these made-over vampires is that they’re unpredictable. Maybe we like seeing them enslaved to blood because we as humans are all a slave to something. Maybe we enjoy watching them give into the darkness because the lie of the world says; we are our desires.
Love is the biggest twist of truth, every person wants it. We all want to be loved. Not just on the surface either, people have a greater need, we all desire a love that never fails. A demon cannot give a person the love they need, seems obvious but people have all but forgotten that vampires are what demons masquerade as these days, hence the fear of the cross. If we can’t get it from Edward Cullen or be satisfied with one of the Salvatore’s from The Vampire Diaries, where should we start looking? If those are the wrong places, where is real love? Someone already offered that love, to whosoever will accept, plus the more undeserved the love is, the better. Without being to preachy, Jesus loves you so much that He thought you were worth dying for. There is no other answer for the love we need that satisfies like Christ. A vampire or a werewolf cannot love like that, despite what Bella says.
Vampires have disguised themselves, at the root of it they are sin and sin only gives birth to death. So it’s important not to take the subject to heart. To those who are a fan of the sparkle, enjoy the story but don’t expect a greater satisfaction than mere entertainment.