Review: Twilight

Twilight
1 Lloyd – NOT Family-Friendly
PG-13 for violence and scenes of sensuality.

This vampire flick made approximately $70 million dollars for it’s opening weekend. While that’s impressive, what’s possibly more impressive is the fact that Twilight set a record for the biggest opening by a female director, easily beating the $41.1 million dollars Mimi Leder’s Deep Impact made in 1998. Then, just in case that’s not enough, Summit Entertainment believes Twilight was such a big hit that the studio behind the flick has announced that a sequel is already in the works!

While some are very impressed by the showing, others aren’t so sure. I’ve found it interesting to watch how people react to this movie. They either love it, or hate it. There really seems to be no middle ground. And, for those who love Twilight, they’re very vocal with those whom they call the haters.

Since when does not liking a movie, make you a hater?

Twilight is a love story between a teenage girl and a vampire. Based on the popular book series by Stephenie Meyer, the movie revolves around Bella Swan who finds herself relocated with her father in Forks, Washington after her mother remarries. A planned move from her home in Phoenix shuffles her to Washington while her mother and new husband set up a new life in yet another state. Settling into her standard loner type life things suddenly change when she meets the mysterious Edward Cullen. This 17 year old is nothing like anyone else she’s ever met. He can run faster than a mountain lion and he can even stop a moving car with his bare hands. He also hasn’t aged since 1918. Why? Because he’s a vampire and he’s immortal.

Twilight is described as a modern-day love story. Excuse me? A modern-day love story? Since when does a love story involving a vampire become modern-day? Twilight may be a love story, but it’s certainly not the type of love story that should be heralded as an example for teens to follow. It’s a movie about a stalker, who’s also a cold-blooded murderer who has to fight off his normal urge to kill and devour his victims. On top of that, and making matters even worse, Twilight is a movie that romanticizes deviant behavior. Then, just in case that’s not enough, it’s a movie that’s fascinated with death, describing death as a better option than living.

Is this really a message we want teenage girls to hear?

Twilight uses narrative as the main tool of telling the story of Bella. While this is a creative way to move the flick along, and I do like narrative and storytelling, it all falls apart because the story being told, is simply an inappropriate story for the target audience. It starts out innocently as Bella begins her story by saying…

“I’ve never given much thought to dying. But dying for someone I loved seemed like a good idea.”

On the surface that statement seems innocent, and almost sacrificial in nature. But, we quickly discover this movie is not about sacrifice. Instead, it’s a statement encouraging teenage girls that killing themselves would be much better than losing what amounts to nothing more than an abusive relationship. Twilight may be garbed in a love story disguise, but when you scratch the surface to go deeper, you quickly discover a movie revolving around themes of death, violence and evil. While the synopsis of the movie, written by the studio wanting you to buy the tickets describes Twilight as a love story, the MPAA describe the movie as a drama/horror. Even the so-called hero/love interest knows the difference between a love story and a horror story. When Edward is trying to dump Bella and tell her he cannot be involved with her, the vampire says…

“What if I’m not the hero. What if I’m the bad guy?”

Of course that is indeed what he is. Edward is a bad guy. Now we not only have a fascination with death, and a romanticizing of evil, but we also have a movie glamorizing the bad guy. In the end, Twilight totally falls apart when it ends with Bella declaring…

“Death is peaceful and easy. Life is hard.”

Again I must ask the question — Is this really a message we want to send to the teens of today?

While I must admit Twilight uses some interesting camera techniques, it falls short in the area of message. While I do enjoy a good story, and I love the use of narration as a way of telling the story on the big screen, Twilight is lacking any sense of grounding in truth and message. It’s really a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This movie is definitely not what it appears to be on the surface.

Avoid the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.