In a rather recent conversation on the topic of vampires, it was suggested that Twilight was a good vampire series because it was the first one appropriate for young teens. I thought about that for a few seconds. Should I be happy if werewolves became pacifists who marched on the capital to ask for the ending of a war? Should I be thrilled to watch as a zombie tries to become a broadway star? What if the Blob wanted to go to Harvard or if the Mummy wanted to take up ballet? How about if the Thing from the Black Lagoon decided to go to high school to earn his G.E.D.?
Forgive me, but I just don’t believe that our scariest monsters of legend can be symbols of teen angst and frustration as they find their places in our world. For one, our teens are not monsters no matter how they feel about themselves. Two, some of the monsters represent something dangerous that should not be made into something popular. The reason why vampires, werewolves, and zombies were so feared is that they murdered in order to survive. And finally, to rewrite them to be less than what they are is a horrible cheat. You don’t de-fang vampires, de-claw wearwolves, or starve zombies. The established rules don’t work that way. If you want new rules, you make new monsters.
If you want age appropriate monsters for teens, unless you’re too old for Goosebumps you are out of luck. Nobody would demand that filmmakers make an age appropriate version of Saw or Final Destination. It’s just not doable. If you can’t make monsters appropriate for your age, then you should wait until your age is appropirate for your favorite monsters.