Twilight; romantic horror, USA, 2008; D: Catherine Hardwicke, S: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Taylor Lautner
Bella is a teenage girl who moves away from her mother in Phoenix to live at her father's place, Forks, situated on the north-western part of the US. The weather there is cold, rainy and generally rarely sunny. Bella adjusts to er new high school and meets an unusual teenager, Edward Cullen, who saves her one day by stopping a van from hitting her. Puzzled by him and the legend of the city, she discovers that he is a vampire. They fall in love and Edaward meets her with his family. When a nomadic vampire, James, decides to hunt Bella "for sport", Edward saves her and goes to prom with her.
One of the most hyped and famed movies of the decade, the originator of the "Twilight" saga, this first movie adaptation of the series of novels by Stephenie Meyer is an interesting attempt to blend the "impossible" romance with horror, yet as a whole seems like patchwork: the romantic segment is surprisingly good, moody and even slightly stimulative, yet the horror segment is chaotic and 'anemic'. The reason for why teenage girls went so crazy about kind vampire Edward lies probably in the fact that he represents a triple manifestation of male attraction in one: a forbidden 'naughty guy', a prince charming and strong protector of the heroine. Robert Pattinson is solid in the role, appropriately wearing pale make-up to emphasize his origin, yet it is not quite clear why Bella is so pale too. "Twilight" achieves the most when it attempts to create that 'slice-of-life' mood presented from the teenage female perspective, reminiscent of the narrower writing skills of the classic series "Sailor Moon" and others, such as when Bella also hangs out with Native Americans, feels as an outsider in high school or simply goes to buy a dress with her friends for prom night, whereas her romance with Edward fits in into the concept, equipped with a few neat scenes, such as when he climbs up a tree, carrying her on his back to impress her. However, the story does indeed tend to "show off" and "ham it up" excessively, which is why the horror parts indeed seem unintentionally comical at times (especially the basketball sequence). The finale is entirely illogical: why would James all out of blue suddenly decide to hunt Bella "for sport"? The cause of the confrontation was not well thought out whereas the movie needed more wit and is indeed weaker than its forerunner "Let the Right One In", yet it does have some bizarre charm.