University of the Pacific Professor Amy Smith said in a university news release Friday because vampires look very similar to their human prey, the fictional characters have an immediate appeal to viewers.
"The vampire has really resonated in film and literature because the vampire is probably the most sinister and yet human-like evil creature in modern literature," Smith said. "They look and act like humans, which allows them to live among us and trick us into becoming victims."
The professor, who teaches a course titled "Living Dead: Vampires in Film and Fiction," said "Twilight" and its upcoming sequel "New Moon," both based on novels by author Stephenie Meyer, also have an additional draw for female viewers, the university reported.
"Although fans of traditional horror and action-oriented vampire films may not like it, Stephenie Meyer's breed of vampire has a deep emotional appeal for women. He's dangerous, but not to her -- he's beautiful and seemingly unattainable, but she gets him, nonetheless," she said, referring to the films' lead characters of the mortal Bella and the vampire Edward.
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