Old Vampires vs New Vampires

A lot of people are vampire’d out these days. That’s because they have been so popular that we haven’t been able to escape these stories. Vampire stories aren’t new though, we have ton that existed prior to the 2000’s. Why weren’t we sick of them before? I’d like to see a compare contrast of older vampire stories compared to new ones. Were they better before? Or just less popular? Are the target audiences different? Were the stories more meaningful or easier to relate to? Scarier? What makes people so sick of vampire stories now, but not sick of them before even though tons of stories still existed?

Ideas for older examples:
Dracula – book and various movies.
Anne Rice – So many books
Buffy – comics and tv show

Vampire Diaries
Vampire Academy

You can draw the line between new and old whenever you want and obviously there are a lot more examples.

  • It could be interesting to take the inundation of content relating to 'The Zombie' and compare it to that of 'The Vampire' - why have we replaced, in the last 20 years or so, one with the other (if we have!), and what does this say about us culturally? What do zombies do for us now that vampires can't? Or perhaps they accomplish the same goal? – ageofmythology 9 years ago
  • I like your take on the topic a lot! I think you should just submit Zombies vs Vampires and our fears/what it says about it yourself. I think it could be different enough from this topic to qualify as its own. – Tatijana 9 years ago
  • I think that's fair! But I also think the story of our modern fascination with the vampire, particularly it's end, definitely ties into our obsession with zombies. Maybe the popularization of zombies influenced our perception of vampires and contributed to our ever changing understanding and fascination with this age old creature. Also for older examples you could go really and old start with Polidori's "The Vampyre," and you could even compare Dracula to and with its adaptions (Nosferatu and Bram Stoker's Dracula). – ageofmythology 9 years ago
  • You can even include 2 legal documentations of vampires in Serbia. Yes... they actually have 2 documentations of vampires by gov't officials haha. Also, creepy. I think there is also a vampire like creature in Japanese folklore too, but I forget it's name. – Tatijana 9 years ago
  • This is a really interesting topic! I'd be interested in seeing where you draw the line between "old" and "new." (Millennial vampirism?) Also, I'd definitely suggest The Vampyre, Varney the Vampire, and Carmilla as possible older works to observe as well; they predate Dracula, though Dracula is certainly a highly influential cornerstone (the second most-appearing Western film character!). Also, since a lot of older vampires focus on xenophobic aristocracy or actual upper class killers (Elizabeth Bathory; Vlad Tepes), the origins and symbolism between old and new vampires certainly differ. – emilydeibler 9 years ago
  • Rather than do an old vs new it would probably be better to follow the evolution of the vampire and study how the vampires change reflects the fears of society at the time of their writing. The original Dracula was a reflection of debotchery however he was also sophisticated which created a feeling of unease because at the time higher class people would never do anything against the social norm. To do so was something monsterous and Draculas womanizing and relatively open sexuality challenged those ideals, makng him a monster hiding in the venear of the elite. Nowadays thats not the case so Dracula as he was then is somewhat irrelevant so he (and vampires in general) have changed to reflect the fears of the time period – Cojo 9 years ago
  • Additionally, there is a more recent web series titled Carmilla that would be a good source to pull from. It was conceptualized based on the Gothic novella with the same title written by Sheridan Le Fanu, published in 1871, a year, you may notice, that predates the publication of Dracula! – Adelyn 8 years ago
  • Also curious where the line between "old" and "new" is being drawn - also, I think the differences in genre conventions between TV series, movies, and novels deserve some attention - but I've heard the argument that a lot of these new "vampire" series are merely using the vampire aesthetic to add an element of dark allure to what really is an otherwise quotidian drama/romance (rather than exploring the "true" nature of the traditional vampire). I can kind of see it, but I've never read/watched any of the new series other than Twilight (at least in full) so I have no right to make a judgment call. If we consider this argument for a second, this zombie comparison that we're discussing brings up a neat point: vampires are sexy, zombies are ugly; humans in Twilight and Vampire Diaries are romantically involved with vampires, humans in The Walking Dead run the heck away from zombies; the nature of vampires (i.e. eternal life, adverse reaction to light, etc.) in some modern series (e.g. Twilight) is used as a relationship obstacle in what becomes a drama, the nature of zombies (i.e. I'LLEATYOU) in all modern series I've encountered remains a crucial plot point that keeps the plot alive and explores what it means to be human - or not be human anymore. So, I'm wondering if it's not so much a disdain for vampires as much as a disdain for using something historically awesome as a prop in a (dare I say it?) chick flick. – countessaart 8 years ago
  • I think this topic is pretty interesting but you need to have boundaries for research purposes, like have a definition of old and new? Because as far as I know, Dracula (1890) is more than a century precedent to Anne Rice's (1980) vampires... I don't think they should be grouped together so haphazardly... as well as Buffy (1990's). The person writing this could follow the evolution of vampires in the popular discourse say: how differently they are treated... I actually see Dracula vs Edward Cullen in this... because you know, they both argue chastity in a way which kind of curious. – Jill 8 years ago

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