So, you like vampires, huh? Um, I hate to break it to you, but isn’t that a little passé? I mean, with the current glut of bloodsuckers out there, aren’t we supposed to be over them and chewing at the bit for the ‘next big thing’? Everywhere we turn in the bookshop, online, television and the movies, another vampire and his/her crew have popped up. Generally, they’re pining for the short mortal life they once had, in love with a human and fighting their natural instinct to gut and devour them. Oh, and they’re always ridiculously good looking… aren’t they?
Well, no. Sure, some of the vampires of late might fit that mould, but it’s a modern day phenomenon. The Vampire Diaries, Twilight, Vampire Academy, House of Night, Evernight and about seven thousand and twenty-nine more. Some (lots) of them are even pretty cool. But have there just been too, too many? Do you groan out loud when you see a book or movie trailer for another vampire story? Or do your fingers twitch gleeful anticipation, does your heart begin to pump that little bit faster in anticipation of release day? Do you expect your vampires to charm the pants off you before they eat?
Or, has the (ahem) well run dry? Are bloodsuckers yesterday’s news?
I don’t think so. Yes, the current trend to elevate our favourite monsters into the stratosphere of all-things-hot-and-yummy might just be running its course. But what about those vamps who are the real thing? The monsters, the demons, the really, truly bad guy vampires? They’ve been around in folklore since – well forever – in many different guises. I don’t see them going anywhere soon. We might be a little full up with being fed the same old modern day bloodsucker, especially since so many are so similar. We all love a bad guy with a heart, but I hate to be the one to break the news – vampire hearts aren’t supposed to beat. And it’s those vampires – the ones with the shrivelled up life-muscle that I believe will never really go away.
Publishers and movie makers are moving away from vampires, looking for the next big thing – angels, shape-shifters, mermaids and co. But vampires have been with us forever, they’re not going anywhere in a hurry. They’ll morph and change, fit in with whatever it is society wants or needs from them. Let’s face it; that’s how they’ve survived this long already. I think we’ll see more vamps like those in True Blood and Being Human. I’m looking forward to seeing what author Claudia Gray does with ‘Balthazar’, her spin-off to the Evernight series. The vampires in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series also still have a way to go with their Shadow Hunter counterparts, and they’re certainly vamps who can’t always be trusted. (AND ride flying motorbikes!) Granted, most of them are hot (hey, I never said I had anything against a gorgeous vampire), but they’re more dangerous, more driven by their thirst and need to feed their murderous instincts. We’ll also see more classic vampire-types, like Lestat and his buddies from Anne Rice’s novels, Kurt Barlow from Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot and of course, The Master from Buffy and the granddaddy of them all, Dracula himself.
Vampires will make a big, bad comeback – not that they’ll ever really go away – and when they do, be careful. Keep the garlands of garlic slung around your window, the crucifix beside your bed. Because when bloodsuckers come knocking once more, they’ll be bigger, badder and thirstier than ever. And in the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying those impossibly good looking, angsty vamps. Just remember… they’re all monsters underneath.