Twilight took the world by storm as soon as it hit the big screen. It got young fans hooked and sparked thousands of legendary memes across the internet among those who didn't like it. And although this saga about humans and vampires received mixed reviews, it grossed over a staggering $3.4 billion worldwide. But what was it that made it so popular?
Well, a Gothic literature expert shed some light on the potential reasons behind the mass appeal of The Twilight Saga's vampires, and let's just say – it gets deeper than you think!
Based on Stephanie Meyer's infamous book series of the same name, Twilight became a global phenomenon when the first movie of the series debuted back in 2008. And it's no secret that millions of viewers around the world fell in love with The Twilight Saga vampires.
They were adored for their good looks and, of course, their love stories. After all, who doesn't love a good old 'forbidden love' tale with some supernatural elements sprinkled on top?
However, these are not the only reasons why the movies became so popular. Gothic literary professor Dr. Laura Westerngard, who is often referred to as the 'Vampire Expert', reveals in her Vanity Fair review of vampires in films and TV that fans may find Twilight vampires appealing for a number of reasons that may not be that apparent.
Vampires are not new to works of fiction, by any means. However, according to Westerngard, despite having many elements in common with other depictions we've seen throughout the centuries, there are some very interesting diversions in Twilight.
For instance, instead of portraying Edward Cullen and his family as ghastly monsters lurking in the shadows, they're introduced to the audience as the type of family people aspire to be. They have flawless beauty, wealth, and strength. Not only that, but they are also vegetarian and show restraint, which is not a typical storyline for vampires.
In other works we've previously encountered, vampires could notoriously be destroyed by sunlight. In Twilight, on the other hand, vampires can go out in the sun and it doesn't harm them. However, it reveals their true nature by making their skin sparkle. Westerngard thinks this actually plays into the idea of the Cullens symbolizing the height of status.
"They pull Bela Lugosi's class and wealth together with The Lost Boys' flashy youth culture and create this new monster that everybody wants to either be or be with. They are the pinnacle of 21st-century capitalist aspirations," she says.