This chapter tracks the trends of the contemporary vampire in the twenty-first century, from the vampire’s popular representation as an outsider and anti-hero, a carrier of a fatal plague, through to an idealised figure of desire in Gothic romance. Vampires in literature, film and television evidence their continued struggle as displaced figures caught between the ancient and the modern while remaining perfectly in tune with the zeitgeist. This chapter analyses the cultural assimilation and aggressive marketisation of the vampire narrative into separate strands for multiple audiences and generic configurations (from the Gothic romance to the action film), exposing the plurality of vampiric representation in the twenty-first century, including the tamed Gothic lover of the Twilight saga (2008–12), the ubiquitous and the synthetic nature of contemporary vampire society (HBO’s True Blood(2008–14)), and the persistent updating of popular twentieth-century vampire narratives, including Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula(1897), for a new century.
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