Terrible vampire action, terrible teen romance. Now with added terrible.

Released in 2008, certified UK-12A. Reviewed on 24 Jan 2009 by Scott Morris
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There's nothing new, I suppose, in the allure of vampires to girls of a certain tweenage, if the outbreak of ladypart dribbling over the deeply unremarkable Interview with a Vampire in girls of a certain tweenage during my formative years was anything to go by. Apparently, and as I am no longer down with the hoodie clad ASBO laden youth of today I must take this on faith alone, the current wet dream inducing franchise is the series of Twilight novels from Stephenie Meyer, these addressing the market directly rather than simply being incidentally attractive to it. This makes it obvious fertile ground for adaptation demographics, if not hope for a decent film.

As such it's not much of a surprise to find out that this a is a rubbish film that's made money hand over fist, but I guess I'm getting rather ahead if myself. Twilight sees the relatively quiet and reserved Bella (Kristen Stewart) move from her mother's baking hot Arizonan gaff to the cold, overcast, practically Scottish town of Fork, although to be frank 'town' is something of an overstatement, to be with her even more quiet and reserved father. The new school provides new friends, although the only one of any interest to us at the moment, although to be frank 'interest' is something of an overstatement, is Edward (Robert Pattinson).

Edward, and his extended family whom are simply not interesting enough to mention, are vampires. Sorry if I ruined the surprise. You can tell this, if not from their superhuman strength and speed also from their complexion, which isn't so much 'pale and interesting' as it is 'baker in a Norman Wisdom sketch that clumsily ends up covered in flour'. They are all, however, good vampires, inasmuch as they're paid up members to the local chapter of Blood Drinkers Anonymous. So that's fine then.

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Bella is for some reason interested in the desperately unhealthy-looking Edward, although I suppose saving her life from an impending crushing by car would pique one's interest, but initially it seems that he wants nothing to do with her. Boo hoo. It soon transpires that although Edward is indeed interested, her unique scent also makes him want to take her out for a meal in the more traditional vampiric sense just as much as in he romantic way.

Cue an agonisingly long time of the pair making goo goo eyes at each other and spewing sappy dialogue that would make Attack of the Clones blush, before eventually another bunch of less socially integrated vamps show up and decide more or less at random to eat Bella, prompting a spot of chasing and violence that sadly looks as if it will spill over into the inevitable sequel. Oh, and all of this takes place next to a reservation of Native American werewolves. In case any of that seemed too sensible for you.

Now, if there's at least one slender hope for films what done have vampires in them, it's that they will, at some point, ruin someone's shit in an interestingly bloody fashion. Despite their many, many flaws, even the execrable Underworld series had the common decency to provide that. Thanks to our featured hero vampire family being, for want of an equally descriptive polite term, pussies, Twilight doesn't even deliver that. Hell, you could probably replace the concept of vampirism with being Amish and wind up with an identical tedious relationship drama. Admittedly with a somewhat less dynamic tacked on action ending, but seeing as that was just as disappointing as the rest of the film anyway I suppose it really wouldn't have made much odds.

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It explores, I guess, the well worn theme of star crossed lovers, paths intertwined by fate and all that, in a sort of Shakespeare dropped on his head many times as an infant kind of way. It is, and let's be quite clear about this, dreadful on every level I can think of. Its action sequences, if indeed it's deserving of the plurality, are banal, it's central love story is so deeply dull and derivative that it quite literally makes Baby Jesus cry, and the acting from, well, everyone, is barely worthy of the term.

I suppose, if I'm being rational about it, that I have seen many films far worse than this one. However, it's still bland drivel of the lowest order and feeding this to teenagers is not an act to be encouraged, unless you want to acclimatise them to the disappointment so often found in multiplexes these days. Certification be damned, anyone of any age even contemplating seeing Twilight would be far better advised to seek out The Lost Boys or 30 Days Of Night. You have access to the Internet, don't you?

Were I in the business of passing quantifiable judgements, I'd award this 1/5 TippyMarks.

Catherine Hardwicke
Cast list:
Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan)
Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen)
Billy Burke (Charlie Swan)
Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen)
Kellan Lutz (Emmett Cullen)
Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen)