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Sparkling Fear…

… or how you’re either a vampire or a werewolf person unless the story is flat enough to undo the magic.

Some people won’t believe it, but there was a time before Twilight. That was way back when vampire books and movies more often than not were horror stories and not love stories. The same goes with werewolves. Of course there have always been exceptions. Does anyone remember Mona the Vampire? Or Ernest le vampire? I’m sure there are werewolf examples for this as well, but unlike with vampires I didn’t have a huge werewolf phase as a teenager. The point I’m trying to make is that while there have always been other approaches, the genre belonged mostly to horror. Now things are different. Because Twilight broke the boundaries. And now werewolves have sixpacks and vampires sparkle.

What fascinates me about this whole topic is the fact that I think there are two kinds of people. You’re either a vampire person or a werewolf person. (I have a similar thesis when it comes to Indiana Jones vs Han Solo or space vs dinosaurs by the way.) Of course you can be a little bit of both. I, personally, consider myself a late bloomer when it comes to shifters and werewolves. I can’t get enough of them now and I want to read ALL THE THINGS but the truth is that if I had the choice between werewolves and vampires I’d still and forever choose vampires.

And here’s the thing. I think there’s an explanation for that. Let’s get Freudian for a second.

The fear of vampires and werewolves is pretty ancient. The fascinating part is that the concept is the same. Something dark hunts you down and turns you into something equally less and more than a human. The prey turns into the hunter. The difference is how they hunt and how they alter their victim’s personality.

Vampires are seductive. They lure their victims in, make them long for the bite. Anyone who has read Anne Rice will understand that blood sucking can be equally messy and horrible as it can be sensual.

With wolves on the other hand, nothing at all is sensual. Their bite is vicious and primal. But there is the mentality of the pack, of belonging somewhere and who isn’t fascinated by wolves?

I think that it says something about both a person’s fears as it does about their longings which kind of stories they prefer. For vampires you have this superhuman creature that is smarter than you, faster than you, stronger than you, that can simply make you invite them in just because they make you believe you want it. Werewolves on the other hand, those are the creatures you can’t argue with because they kill out of instinct. They aim for your heart, not just your blood, tearing you to shreds. They aren’t alone, but pack animals, ganging up on you, showing no mercy.

On the other hand, those things you fear, they’re the ones you get when you survive the attack of the thing you fear. When you turn into a vampire, you turn into something so sly you won’t even see your reflection in the mirror. And when you turn into a werewolf, you won’t ever lose your way again because your instincts will guide you and so will the pack.

So after reading many books and watching many movies and asking a lot of people, I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re either a vampire or a werewolf person. There will always be one thing you choose over the other. And it has something to do with what you fear and at the same time with some pretty dark and twisted desires.

And while we’re talking about Twilight – I think this whole construct crumbles to pieces in a series like that when your vampires are suddenly emo high school students and your werewolves remain human even in wolf form. Things will suck way less for the genre if and when our creatures of darkness will find back to their roots and the very reasons we love and fear them so much.

So what’s your take on it? Do you think there are vampire and werewolf people the way there are cat and dog people out there? And which type are you?

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One thought on “Sparkling Fear…

  1. Great post! I’ve actually never thought about why people pick one or the other monster. Maybe cause I’m not good with horror and have issues with post-Twilight paranormal romance (or maybe just romance in general).

    Btw, I read a bit a book about blood-legends, which I hoped would elaborate on different ancient myths regarding vampires and werewolves, but the book mentioned these only in passing (still fascinating) and concentrated more onto popular culture. And there was this bit I found highly amusing, apparently the very first description of a literary vampire comes from a writer, who wasn’t fond of the poet, writer and ladies man, Lord Byron, so the writer (now quite obscure) gave his blood-sucking monster many of Lord Byron’s characteristics, and so was born the seductive, charming, irresistible vampire, we know (and love?) today.

    As for my own choice, I first thought I don’t have a preference (see above problems w/ horror & paranormal romance), but thinking about it, specifically about the werewolves origin’s in Estonia’s old myths (and legends of other people with somewhat a shamanic past), in which the werewolf is not a man shape-shifting into a wolf, but rather a highly capable shaman, whose soul goes wandering during meditation and occasionally morphs into a beast. Sometimes the soul gets stuck or goes lost, sometimes the shaman goes mad. It’s quite different from the usual werewolf, in popular culture in the Game of Thrones franchise Bran does this (probably Arya as well, though unknowingly).

    Compared to this depiction of werewolves a vampire is an undead being, which makes me bit more uneasy, so I guess I’m voting for werewolf, although not the usual kind 🙂

    As for Han Solo or Indiana Jones, I think Han, but mostly cause I saw Star Wars before Indiana Jones films. And my favourite was Luke Skywalker anyway 😛

    Like

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