Sorry for the past three reviewless weeks, I went home to Abergavenny and it appears one of the local Pterodactyls pecked the town’s only dial-up cable. Anyway, I have a lot of films to catch up on and all the time in the World to do it. Hooray!

Twilight (2008)

I finally caved in and sat down to watch one of the most talked about films of last year. From what I can gather, this film is now the “Citizen Kane” of the 11 to 16 year old girl demographic. Does it stand up to this jaded 22 year old male’s view? Let’s find out…

“Death is peaceful, easy. Life is harder.”

“Twilight” is based on the first book in the popular series of books of the same name and follows troubled teenager Bella Swan (Kristin Stewart) when she moves from Arizona to the small, hick-ass town of Forks in Washington, to stay with her dad. On the first day in her new school, she meets pale-skinned pretty boy Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). After Edward gets over intially being repulsed by her, the pair start sharing long, lustful stares and some strange things happen. Bella hits the internet hard and figures out what every sane viewer on the planet figured out from the first minute- dude’s a vampire. Overall, the plot plays out like a fat, Goth girl’s fantasy. Smart, sassy and most importantly misunderstood girl is persued by a good looking, unattainable boy who only has eyes for her. I imagine the first draft of the book being kept in a coffin-shaped box stashed underneath a bed, the pages stained with candlewax and tears. To be fair, all the fantasy romance wasn’t as nearly as vomit-inducing as I thought it would be. The leads were OK, but a bit wooden for my liking. Hopefully this’ll improve as the sequels are filmed.

The annoying thing about “Twilight” is that it’s pretty much critic-proof. It is what it is. It’s not trying to please everyone, which is actually quite admirable. Whilst watching it I was very aware that due to my age and gender I wasn’t really welcome at the “Twilight” party. Which is fine, didn’t want to hang out with white-skinned, fat girls who smell like the floor of a third-rate kebab house anyway…

If you look past all the Gothette pandering and ’80s special effects, there’s a fairly decent film underneath it all, even if it doesn’t go anywhere. Whilst I didn’t buy the Bella/Edward romance, I liked the relationship between Bella and her parents. It’s nice to see a parent/child relationship presented in a more realistic light for a change. In terms of specifics, I actually enjoyed the vampire baseball scene (set to Muse’s “Supermassive Black Hole”) and the fight scene between Edward and the supposedly sadistic vampire, James. Whilst this may seem like a typical male meathead groping at sports and violence related straws, these scenes are the only ones that do something different, giving us a break from washed-out fleshtones, longing gazes and softly spoken dialogue.

Bella Swan: Are you going to tell me how you stopped the van? Edward Cullen: Yeah. Um… I had an adrenaline rush. It’s very common. You can Google it.”

All in all, “Twilight” was OK. The main romance didn’t convince me and the main villain is introduced way too late into proceedings to make any real difference, but nevertheless it kept me occupied for 90 minutes or so. It’ll be interesting to see if the sequel “New Moon” will do anything interesting with the clunkily alluded to vampires vs. werewolves gimmick mentioned near the end of the film.

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