Dead People Everywhere

Here’s a thought. Why are there so many films about vampires, ghosts and mediums around at the moment? Could it be connected to the baby boomer bulge? That there are a large number of people approaching retirement, especially in the US, and these people are starting to think about their own mortality? Hence an interest in shows about the afterlife, or immortality. Here’s another thought. Graph major demographic trends in the US and then see if there’s a correlation to certain types of hit TV shows or movies.

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6 Responses to Dead People Everywhere

  1. Olga Rusnak says:

    Agree. On the other side, there might be a simple experience / thrill hunger for people who don’t have enough of it in the real life. This can be relevant not only for boomers – my GenX friend is totally obsessed with these movies.

    another thought on the movie subject – being exposed to a lot of kid’s animations recently, I noticed a strong message between the lines: it is not longer the strongest (physically) character who saves the world, but actually the geek-iest…Change of prospective for the future?

  2. Ken says:

    I’m not sure I agree with the Baby Boomer theory since I’m under the impression that most of films like you describe are not targeted at the Boomer demographic (or were you referring to film *makers* and not audiences).

    Even so, is the number really going up? I’m under the belief that vampire stories in particular have always been popular. Using IMDB to search for feature films with the “vampire” keyword, and focusing on English-language (testing the Boomer theory) films with at least 100 votes (to weed out arcana) for the moment, the last handful of decades yielded the following counts:

    1970s: 54 films
    1980s: 35 films
    1990s: 56 films
    2000s: 82 films

    That is a generally upward trend, but not overwhelmingly so, especially when once takes into account that more films are made today (well, let me refine that… IMDB better documents more films). I understand that the above search is imperfect and these results are non-scientific, but this data is the most objective measure I could think of and produce quickly :).

  3. Corky says:

    The filmmakers might be boomers, but if the hypothesis were true wouldn’t the target audience be boomers too?

    Perhaps a better explanation is that the Gen-X’ers are frustrated by the unwillingness of the older generations to start dying off and going away? In their eyes, boomers (and the boomer’s parents!) are like the living dead, or the ghosts who seemingly haunt every corner of the world…

  4. Corky says:

    Immediately after hitting the button to submit my comment, one more thought occurred to me:

    Boomers are infamous for thinking and acting like they are “forever young” and will live forever. Like the Nosferatu, they refuse to yield to time and their inevitable mortality. Their vain attempts to stay abreast of the latest fashions are a way of siphoning off some of the younger generation’s energy — sucking their blood, if you will.

  5. richard says:

    Wow. Talk about rigour! OK, let’s assume it’s just continued fashion then! 😉
    I guess if a studio or network creates a show that works then others will follow too….

  6. Richard says:

    Interesting how this post – a quick thought really – got so much conversation going…

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