Over time the line between fake vampires and real vampires has been blurred. This should help you distnguish.
Vampires were around since the dawn of time. They stood as a complex metaphor for disease and during the Black Plague people would buy heavily into the myth of vampires. Due to the lack of available graves plague victims would often be buried in mass graves and often the grave sites would be dug back up to make room for more people.
That was when the grave diggers noticed something strange.
The decomposing bodies had become swolen, their mouths were full of blood, and the burial shroud had been eaten away near the mouth. The only logical conclusion was that the dead were coming back to life, eating their shrouds, then still hungry, rising out of their graves and feasting upon the blood of the living. Also, they probably figured out a way to blame Jews and witches for it.
These bodies were then called shroud eaters and became the predessesors to the modern day vampire.
While the myth of vampires has been around for many centuries now, Bram Stoker's novel Dracula popularized the image of the blood sucking vamp and has been responsible for the many vampire genres that have emerged throughout the last century or so.
But let's focus on vampire movies for a moment.
In 1922, the breakout vampire film Nospheratu was released followed by the 1931 movie Dracula.
And of course these were followed by ridiculous attampts to cash in, including Blacula, Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, and so many more. The golden rule is; if people think they can make money off of it, it's eventually going to start sucking.
Which brings us to The Lost Boys. While we here at Cracked don't like to judge, The Lost Boys seemed oddly homoerotic for a vampire flick. Then again, Twilight is just one pashmina away from being entirely homoerotic. If there was just one more discription of Edward's abs it would qualify for nomination as a the best gay porno. If Bella had a name more like Andy or Sacha...but we digress.
On to TV shows.
With the advent of television, a new wave of vampires emerged.
One of the earliest vampire shows took form as a soap opera called Dark Shadows. An attempt to cash in by the makers of childrens television led to Count Duckula. Then the world got the now legendary series Buffy The Vampire Slayer which inevitably led to quite the spin off Angel.
And of course now we have the likes of True Blood and The Vampire Diaries.
And now on to books.
Let's go with Anne Rice. Her novels, including Interview With A Vampire, really cemented which way the vampire genre was going to go in the mainstream. Her vampires featured such quirks as non-stop moodiness, incessant morality, and, of course, forbidden love. Sound familiar?
Hey at least Anne Rice manages to hold onto that whole blood drinking thing.
Nowadays vampires like to cry, brood, and take long walks on the beach. They like 2D girls who read classical novels and drinking the blood of animals whilst simultaneously misunderstanding the term "vegetarian."
Remember children, a carrot is a vegetable, an elk is not. And while it is meant to be a "joke," albeit a really bad one, they say it so many times in the books that in the next movie they're probably going to start wearing t-shirts that declare their vegetarianism. Probably in black.
They no longer stand for the horrors of disease, nor do they teach us about the price of immortality, instead they seem to stand for...being hot we suppose? It's never really made clear why being "Adonis-like" is central to the story line.
But aside from Twilight's strange partnership with the H section of the thesaurus, the modern day vampire also stands for brooding, emos, and how parents totally don't even understand anything.
And as it turns out *SPOILER* everything ends happily ever after! Who would have known?
In fact Meyer claims the idea for Twilight came to her in a dream. Probably a daydream. Left over from high school. About that one guy she totally liked and who totally liked her back even though her skin was too plae or something and she read serious novels.
In other words, she probably just wrote fanfic about her high school days.