First, I need to clarify a few things.
Most important, I’m in no way defending the entire vampire genre or the trendy teenage fad spawned from it. Much of this material is little more than a celebration of death in a sexy package. This cocktail of evil and lust has the potential for wickedness.
Many of the Twilight critics mistakenly assume the films follow this trend. Among the most vocal is Mark Driscoll, who readily admits to never watching them. I have, and don’t see it that way in the least. On the contrary, these films have the potential to serve as a neutron bomb in the culture wars — and a valuable tool in the hands of parents.
Here’s what I saw in the movies:
a) All vampires in the Twilight films are described as “murderers,” “going to hell,” and “monsters.” At no time is the evil associated with these vampires touted as good or right.
b) The bad guys are the vampires that follow their natural instinct for blood. The “good” guys are the vampires who despise their bloodthirsty nature, understand their innate potential for evil, and continually battle self-loathing. I might add further that vampirism was not a conscious choice. They spend “eternity” (although they can be killed) trying to serve mankind rather than destroy it.
c) The “good” vampires — in spite of understanding that they are doomed — adhere to a strict code of family loyalty, sexual morality, and self-denial of the evil pleasures hardwired into them.
d) Evil is portrayed as it truly is. Not with horns and scales that anyone can recognize, but as it is in the real world: beautiful, seductive, and deadly.
e) Good is also portrayed as it is: self-sacrifice, fidelity, chastity, discipline, and loyalty.
What Stephenie Meyer has done — whether she set out to or not — is smuggle a Christian conservative message in the context of romance and fantasy to an audience of millions.
Yeah but…there are vampires in it.
Seriously? Let’s dig deeper.