Year Released: 2008
Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, a great deal of pale looking vampires
Production Company: Summit Entertainment
Release Date: Nov 21, 2008

If I were a hopeless romantic, or a teenage girl with visions of men sweeping me off my feet, or someone who desperately wants to fall in love…. If I were any of those things I would have probably enjoyed Twilight. The fact of the matter is I’m nothing of those things mentioned. I’m the exact opposite of the target audience that Twilight aims for. I’m trying to place myself in a position to enjoy this film, because obviously, the box office indicates this thing is kicking ass. Try as I might I wasn’t particularly engaged nor was I impressed by Twilight.

Bella (Kirsten Stewart) moves from sunny Arizona to dreary over-cast Forks, Washington to stay with her completely lifeless father (Billy Burke). The filmmakers attempt to have her connect with the audience by making her an outcast fails miserably, as she somehow makes friends within the first few minutes. She meets the mysteriously alluring Edward (James Pattinson) who seems to act all huffy and weird around her, and she figures….in ignoring her he MUST like her. This wanton desire is reciprocated in the form of Bella really, really wanting to get it on with Edward, but it’s a forbidden fantasy as he’s a vampire.

So, you want to do some sucking after this?

I’ll stop there and spare the rest of the male audience the details. My biggest beef with Twilight was the vampire mythology. The whole point of one becoming a vampire is the utter consequences. Things like ‘the sunlight will destroy me’, or ‘garlic kills me’, or ‘I have this terrible fear of crosses or running water’. Nothing. In the world of Twilight there is no consequence of becoming a vampire because the damn movie glorifies it. Granted, I never read the series or any of the books by Stephanie Meyer, but her basis for the immortally damned seems a little too perfect, in that there’s really no flaws in any character (at least in the movies). And without flaws you have uninteresting characters, uninteresting conflicts and there’s really no set up for any kind of emotional impact because we don’t care. At the very end Bella wants to become a vampire like Edward, yet he denies her because she ‘doesn’t understand what she has to give up’. Seriously. What would she have to give up? Regular food in exchange for blood? Her skin is already pretty pale, she would just need some darker clothing and crappy special effects to make her run fast (more about that later). I wasn’t taken in by this version of vampire because it never properly develops the theme that immortality is a bitch, that being a vampire means you’re alive, but not human. I couldn’t get into the heads of these damn blood suckers; they’ve been living for hundreds of years yet prefer to all stay in high school. Being immortal would put a different spin on time, would you really want to repeat going to high school for the hundredth time just to stick to your cover?

The Pale, brooding, gothic Avengers, plus that kid from Panic Room

Speaking of teens and high school, if it weren’t for teen angst this movie would fail miserably. For each scene of teenage awkwardness and yearning I’m sure there’s a thousand fifteen year old girls getting their crushes on and blogging it later, then, hating themselves for it. Teens have their emotions running high, what with the hormones and ideals of love and now some author decides to toss fucking vampires into the mix and calls it love? Talk about pure fantasy. Having an older guy, (and not just ANY older guy: the ULTIMATE older guy) fall totally head over heels for you because your scent is intoxicating, and protects you because he can’t stand to be away from you? Actually that sounds a lot like a stalker. In fact, that’s exactly what a stalker sounds like. But as long as he’s hot and has to restrain himself and keep it in his pants, it’s all cool. Right?

How surprised was I to see ‘Industrial Light and Magic’ listed as one of the effects companies? Pretty damn surprised. It must have been the pre-teen division. All those scenes of Edward being impossibly fast looked like they were right out of the seventies, and that shitty blur effect of the other vampires looked like it could have been achieved with much more moxie if the team in charge of ‘Smallville’ did the same thing on a smaller budget. The only visual effect that looked somewhat believable was Pattinson’s gravity defying, perfectly sculpted hair.

“Listen, this thing between me and Cho Chang was completely platonic…”

This film simply did not connect with me; emotionally or visually. I thought the pale overcast and tungsten gradient of the shots were boring and depressing. The special effects were bad, the close ups of the young pretty actors were uncomfortable, and the dialog was terrible. Other websites point out the forced relationship and lack of chemistry between Edward and Bella. Personally, I want to point out how ridiculous vampire baseball is.

As much as I enjoy bashing this teen-love-vampire-movie, all indications show it’s a massive hit. This will easily hit the $200 million high water mark and sequels are already planned and being filmed as we speak. This genre wasn’t for me, but if you’re that hopeless romantic, desperately yearning for someone to love you based on outward appearances, or, perhaps scent, than let’s say, something meaningful such as your personality, then go right ahead and enjoy Twilight.

If you want to the proper portrayal of torment and consequences of being a vampire, watch ‘Interview with the Vampire’.

2.0 out of 10