Where does the attraction to the bloodsucker come from?
For as long as I can remember I have been a lover of all things Vampire. I don't remember where it started really. I remember going to Whitby when I was very small and waiting to go through the Dracula experience. Of course it terrified me and my Dad had to take me back out. I still blame him though. If he'd let me just go through it rather than pointing out all the gruesome things in the walls I might have been ok! :o) Most likely thought it came from a book. I was a very precocious reader, way above my age group by the time I was in my 3rd year of primary school.
There again it could have been a movie. My parents were very cool where films were concerned. They would watch anything that they were worried about first and then sit me down, tell me it was just a movie, then warn me when the jumpy bits were coming up. Where ever it came from it has been almost an obsession from at least the age of 12. At 12 Interview with the Vampire came out at the cinema. I was 6 whole years too young to go see it so instead I went to the local WH Smiths and bought the book. After devouring that I promptly read the rest of the Chronicles and have been reading them ever since.
After that came the inevitable reading of Dracula. Not bad but certainly not the best. In my opinion at least. What Dracula does have in common with all the Vampires I have liked is their attractiveness. Not physical, though generally they are described as beautiful. No the attractiveness lies in their personalities. Their ability to dazzle, their intelligence, their courtesy. The Vampires we all fall for are Byronic heroes at their best.
For some of them the attraction is rooted in their hatred and disgust of what they are, their desire to be "human", to not be the "monster". In others it is the very fact that they are dangerous. There is the thrill factor in either case.
Vampires are the quintessential bad boys. Pretty much every girl (and some boys) are drawn to the bad boy at some time in their lives. Whether you believe you have the power to change them or just revel in the illicitness of the encounter, that desire is still there.
There are many fine articles out there on the connections between Vampire myths and sexuality. See here for example.
Currently on my Vampire radar there are 2 films (New Moon and Cirque Du Freake - The Vampire's Assistant), tv series True Blood and the ever increasing in popularity Twilight Saga on the book front. The Vampire is once again having a revival.
The Twilight Saga seems to be provoking quite a mixed reaction. It's interesting how polarized people's opinions are on it. See here for example. I do plan on doing a bit of an essay on the abuse issue in the Twilight saga but I've not read them all yet so that will have to wait.