Newswise — Halloween may be over, but Amy Smith says thousands of women across the country are planning to attend events on November 20th to celebrate the release of the film “New Moon,” the latest in the popular “Twilight” series “because the only thing better than having a hot vampire boyfriend is seeing him get jealous over the werewolf who wants to be your boyfriend.”

Smith, an English professor at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., who studies and writes about vampires in literature, says, just like their subject matter, movies about vampires just never seem to die.

This year is proving that true with the publication of a number of new vampire books, and several vampire movies, including the latest “Twilight” installment and the recently released comedy “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire Assistant.”

According to Professor Smith, who teaches the popular course “Living Dead: Vampires in Film and Fiction,” the vampire genre is a natural for the big screen.

“That’s because the films about the mythical undead creatures also share an ability that vampires have—they can take on many forms, from horror films to romantic dramas and even to goofball comedies,” she says. “The vampire has really resonated in film and literature because the vampire is probably the most sinister and yet human-like evil creature in modern literature,” she observes. “They look and act like humans, which allows them to live among us and trick us into becoming victims.”

It's estimated that nearly 1,000 vampire films have been made in the past century, Smith said. It isn't just a European or American film trend either. Films about vampires have been made in Japan, Africa, India, China, and South America. Vampire movies have been around since the earliest days of Hollywood, says Smith, from 1922's “Nosferatu” to more than a dozen “Dracula” films over the years that have reflected themes of every decade they’ve been released.

The huge appeal of the “Twilight” franchise among young women has polarized many horror fans, Smith says.

“Although fans of traditional horror and action-oriented vampire films may not like it, Stephenie Meyer’s breed of vampire has a deep emotional appeal for women. He’s dangerous, but not to her--he's beautiful and seemingly unattainable, but she gets him, nonetheless. He's a man who literally can promise to love her forever.”