The Rise of Vampires in Television and Cinema
Since the period of silent movies, vampires have always attracted attention of cinema and television. Mythical creatures that suck blood in a combination with a horrifying or romantic plot thrill people’s minds. Every person has seen at least one movie about vampire. But how has this spread started? In this paper we will discuss how the rise of vampires in television and cinema started and what generated this kind of shows or movies to become popular in a short period of time. In addition, we will critically analyze this issue and answer the question: how does watching such movies or shows or even reading books about vampires affect our social life?
Vampires in Television
First of all, we need to say that vampires are popular since the early 30s and now they are also at the center of attention in social media due to the popularity of the movie Twilight. At the early stages of the film making, it was a theatrical play with strong and extravagant play, face expression and make up. Silent movies made vampires a part of human life. “As sound was introduced to film, actors like Bela Lugosi gave vampires a voice and made them more popular than ever” (Bridge, 2012).
One of the reasons why such films were so popular was the rise of violence on the streets of the USA. People searched for something fantastic to reduce amount of negative information that was in news and on the streets. Social reality, which McQuail has mentioned, is one of the important parts of mass communications and social media. Blood suckers, being a part of a fantastic world, make people abstract from the real world. “The notion of truth is often applied as a standard to the contents of news and fiction” (McQuail, 2010). Truth that sometimes is not as good and adequate makes such movies popular in difficult for a country times.
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After the rise of the popularity of such films as The Vampire, Nosferatu and Dracula, vampires started to appear not only in horror films. “As folklore vampires are defined in their need to feed on blood and on their manipulative nature; a theme held common through the many adaptations” (Soanes, 2011). The Adams Family and The Monsters were one of the first comedies about funny vampires. After this period, in the late 70s slasher films have reduced popularity of vampire films. Nevertheless, such films as Fright Night, Lost Boys and The Vampire Slayer attracted great attention of the society (Hutchings, 2008). Nowadays, there are plenty of films of different genres about vampires. “Evil, violent blood-sucking monsters are still portrayed, but they have become the bad guys, the source of conflict in modern movies and books” (McLeod, 2010).
Since the early 30th till modern cinema, vampires have changed their look and attitude towards humans. It is connected with the social changes in a modern world. Social media illustrates a situation in the world and searches for the ways to influence the consumer according to interests of a society at the one or another stage of its development. Watching such shows and movies does not affect society in as bad way as it may seem. Vampire shows give negative emotions in a good way to be spread: not in the real world, but in an imaginary film world with its characters.
To sum up, we can say that social media has been always trying to influence a customer. Vampires, being horrifying and romantic personages, has always attracted attention of society. Vampires change their look and attitudes with social changes in a reality. Vampire stories are quite popular nowadays and will be popular till the period when people would not need fantastic stories that will thrill and entertain them.