Legacy of Darkness: Portrayal of Vampires

Throughout history, the human mind has conjured up many strange creatures. From the Ancient Egyptian Sphinx, the Ancient Greek Minotaur and Medusa, to dragons from different cultures, orcs and...

Throughout history, the human mind has conjured up many strange creatures. From the Ancient Egyptian Sphinx, the Ancient Greek Minotaur and Medusa, to dragons from different cultures, orcs and goblins, and more. We have always conjured monsters to explain things, scare others and create epic myths. These inventions have stood the test of time, with countless of these imaginary beings still appearing in our stories, whether that’s books, film, television, video games, comic books, tabletop RPGs, music and more.

One of these monsters that has stayed with us and continues to fascinate us is the vampire. These pale, undead spectres who haunt victims and steal their blood, have magical powers, and hide in the shadows have remained popular to this day. With each passing year, we see them in more and new ways and they continue to scare and intrigue us.

The first major depictions of vampires would be in novels. The nineteenth century brought us some major contributions to vampire fiction, with John Polidori’s The Vampyre and Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla and of course, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. These stories are regarded as classics and helped establish vampires as we know them today.

One of the major depictions of vampires in film is Nosferatu. This silent 1922 German film was one of film’s first horror movies. Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror was directed by F.W. Murnau and starred Max Schreck as Count Orlock. This depiction failed to have the rights to Dracula, so they took liberties and changed things to avoid similarities. To this day, it is still considered one of the best horror films ever, despise being nearly one-hundred years old. Schreck’s performance and the imagery it uses keep it a films well worth watching.

Since then, we have seen countless vampires in dozens of movies. These can be straight on horror, with examples being Salem’s Lot and From Dusk Till Dawn, or they can be more action focused, e.g. Blade. We’ve also seen vampire romance in the Twilight movies, drama with Interview with a Vampire, an adventure takes with Dracula Untold, and countless others have had their own vision and take on the lords of the night. Popular TV shows to feature vampires include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Preacher and Being Human. Vampires have also been apart of wrestling company WWE, which have included Gangrel and Kevin Thorn.

Vampires are a common creature in video games. Countless games have included vampires or vampire-esque characters as heroes, villains and generic monsters. Kain is a heroic vampire, while Vamp from the Metal Gear series is a villain who bases his guise on them to frighten his enemies. You can find vampires in many types of games, such as RPGs that have had vampires involved, e.g. Skyrim and Final Fantasy VII, vampire themed online slots such as Ooh Aah Dracula, and fighting games often have them as playable characters, with Darkstalkers, Killer Instinct and Guilty Gear all featuring a vampire.

The Castlevania series is heavily rooted in vampire fiction, with Dracula usually appearing as the main antagonist. He did appear as the protagonist in some Castlevania games, most notably the platform spin-off Kid Dracula. His son Alucard is also featured prominently. In 2017, Castlevania reached anew audience, thanks to Netflix’s animated adaption of Castlevania III.

Vampires had continued to find new fans over time, with new mediums giving them eternal life outside of their stories. As we go into the future, it’s likely we’ll never see the end of their popularity immortality.

 

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