A New Significance of Blood as a Symbol for Both Contagion and Salvation in the Underworld Films

  • Antonio Sanna


A NEW SIGNIFICANCE OF BLOOD AS A SYMBOL FOR BOTH CONTAGION AND SALVATION IN THE UNDERWORLD FILMS AbstractIn this paper I shall examine the critical debates on the symbolism of blood in Gothic literary stories and horror films in order to apply them to the cinematographic tetralogy of Underworld. I shall specifically argue that, similarly to their predecessors, this recent tetralogy presents blood as the vehicle for the contagion of a victim with an incurable condition and, thus, as an allegory for contemporary terminal illnesses such as AIDS. Nevertheless, blood could be simultaneously interpreted also as a means for physical recovery from injuries and as a transmitter of information on personal and communal history, of individual memories and hereditary concerns for the well-being of a community. According to several of its literary and cinematographic representations, a vampire mainly reproduces through the exchange of blood: it transforms another...