|Mwhahaha, dance puppets, dance!|
And then came 'Twilight', which, for better or worse, was something of a game changer in terms of horror fiction. Besides the books themselves being poorly written dreck and the movies being absolutely hilarious for entirely the wrong reasons, the fact remains that just one franchise managed to seemingly change an entire audience's perception of an entire sub-genre. No longer were vampires aristocratic noblemen, snarky English punks in black leather jackets or irritating guys with floppy hair from around New Orleans. They were no longer seen as being threatening, they had effectively been defanged, to use a pun. Though really, when compared to the sociopathic manipulations of Bella Swan even the likes of Pinhead has trouble matching that manipulative creepiness.
Just to start out, I have to be honest and say that I have yet to read the novel, so this is more of a review of the movies, particularly the remake, so please bear with me if my interpretations contract what's in the original book.
Some of the changes kind of made sense to me from a certain point of view, such as an initial theme of the book is a policeman who is investigating the murders that resulted from Abby's diet assuming that they are the result of some kind of Satanic ritual of some sort. This makes sense, to a degree, both from the fact that crazy people are more likely than vampires and that in the time period that the film is set, the US was in the midst of some anti-Satanist/cult hysteria brought about by a number of factors ranging from the success of 'the Omen', 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'the Exorcist' to the Manson Family murders. This had far-reaching effects, up to and including causing schools to try and ban DnD, on the basis that "It has monsters and demons on the book, therefore the people reading it must be Satanists".
Other changes from the original I wasn't so hot on. For example, the remake has more use of CGI which, although a little more convincing than the original's, was kind of jarring compared to both movie's semi-real setting. The original benefited from not really using that much in terms of computer generated stuff, so when it did happen it was more impactive, and although the remake makes it more visceral through gore make-up effects, the original kind of does better in that department. Another example would be the difference between Eli's "gameface" and Abby's, Eli's is genuinely unnerving as it looks like someone's face only... wrong somehow, while Abby's is more of a traditional big-irised vampire.
My overall view? See it even if you've already seen the original, there's enough different between the two/three versions to still make it an entertaining and scary, while bizarrely heartwarming, film in its own right. Major props out to Chloe Moretz for her performance in this, she was fab.