Have you noticed that supernatural creatures in movies and TV shows have become much more sympathetic lately? In the past, these guys were pretty much pure evil, but lately movies are branching out more and giving their supernatural characters some heart and soul.
Let’s look at some “older” Vampire movies:
1. Dracula – 1931
2. Fright Night – 1985
3. The Lost Boys – 1987
These vamps are evil and tortured and have no morals. They’re full of darkness and just an evil force to be defeated by the protagonist. Now check out these newer entries:
1. Interview with a Vampire – 1994
2. Twilight – 2008
3. True Blood – 2008
4. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant – 2009
In these versions the vampires are the protagonists and the hero. Of course there are bad vampires, but the stories follows the good vampires and for once show their positive light.
1. American Werewolf in London – 1981
2. Mom – 1991
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV show) – 1998
All of these werewolves are somewhat mindless, immoral characters pit against the good protagonist. Even if the werewolves are good people in their “natural human state” who regret what they have done in werewolf mode, they’re still killers. Compared to…
1. The Twilight Saga: New Moon – 2009
2. Teen Wolf – 2011
In these movies the werewolves have the ability to control themselves as a werewolf and maintain their conscience.
1. Dawn of the Dead – 1978
2. Shaun of the Dead – 2004
3. I Am Legend – 2007
4. The Walking Dead – 2010
These zombie movies haven’t advanced as quickly as the others because it’s difficult to sympathize with a creature that is brain dead and is purely running on instinct. They have no personality, fear, feelings or thoughts.
1. ParaNorman – 2012
2. Warm Bodies – 2013
In Warm Bodies the main character is a zombie that is trying so hard to find his human side. It’s almost impossible through the “zombie fog,” but he slowly starts to find his humanity again. I love the movie ParaNorman, it should have done better at the box office. Anyway, these zombies aren’t really bad. They’re just people who made mistakes and are seeking to undo it. It’s difficult to write a movie where lifeless creatures have emotions, but these movies manage to pull it off in a pretty spectacular fashion.
1. Aliens – 1986
2. Independence Day – 1996
3. The Faculty – 1998
Great movies, but there isn’t any real background or attempt to show two sides of the story. The aliens never really specify why they chose to colonize and take over Earth without any regard to the humans that they kill. Even when the alien possessed Data (from the old Star Trek: The Next Generation, great casting!), and then the president, all we learned is that the aliens wanted us to die.
1. District 9 – 2009
2. Super 8 – 2011
3. Star Trek – 2013
Now we’re getting somewhere with these three. All these movies give the aliens a nice back-story and explain why they behave the way that they do. It’s hard to make the audience sympathize with the aliens because we obviously want to route for humans (well, I assume most of the audience does). But showing the aliens’ true feelings and motives gives an all-around better story as opposed to one-sided as usual.