Mainstream monsters : the otherness of humans in Twilight, the Vampire Diaries and True Blood

Somogyi, Emma & Ryan, Mark David (2014) Mainstream monsters : the otherness of humans in Twilight, the Vampire Diaries and True Blood. In Bucciferro, Claudia (Ed.) The Twilight Saga : Exploring the Global Phenomenon. Scarecrow Press, New York, pp. 197-211.

[img] PDF (300kB)
Administrators only | Request a copy from author

View at publisher

Abstract

The representation of vampires in horror movies and television programmes has changed considerably over the last two decades. No longer is the vampire portrayed simply as a monster or representation of death. Now, the vampire on our screen such as True Blood’s Bill Compton, or Twilight’s Edward Cullen, passes as human, chooses to make morally sound decisions, becomes an upstanding assimilated citizen, works in the community, and aspires to be a husband to mortal women. The success of recent series such as The Twilight Saga (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), The Vampire Diaries (2009 - ) and True Blood (2008 - ) has popularised the idea of vampires who cling to remnants of their humanity (or memories of what it means to be human) and attempt to live as human, which builds upon similar – albeit embryonic – themes which emerged from the vampire sub-genre in the 1990s. Within these narratives, representations of the other have shifted from the traditional idea of the monster, to alternative and surprising loci. As this chapter argues, humans themselves, and the concept of the human body, now represent, in many instances, both abject and other. The chapter begins by considering the nature of the abject and otherness in relation to representations of classical vampires and how they have traditionally embodied the other. This provides a backdrop against which to examine the characteristics of the contemporary mainstreaming vampire ‘monster’. An examination of the broad thematic and representational shifts from other to mainstream vampire demonstrates how mainstream monsters are increasingly assimilating into mortal lifestyles with trappings that many viewers may find appealing. The same shifts in theme and representation also reveal that humans are frequently cast as mundane and unappealing in contemporary vampire narratives.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 66663
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Vampires, film and television, horror genre, Twilight
ISBN: 9780810892859
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Cinema Studies (190201)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Film and Television (190204)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Scarecrow Press
Deposited On: 28 Jan 2014 04:46
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2016 07:04

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page