Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Twilight Redux

A friend of mine has a daughter who is starting to get old enough to get out of Disney Princesses and into vampires. Namely Twilight. Since I'm the resident expert on all things paranormal and vampire-y, my friend asked me what I thought of the novel. It's been awhile since I've read it, so I picked it up and read through it again. For the sake of completeness, I also re-watched the movie.

Yeah, that's right, I read Twilight and watched the movie.  On purpose. Twice.

Vampire: You're doing it wrong.
My biggest take away from this two-fer is.. How miscast is Edward in that movie?  I mean, yeah, the Bella-Edward relationship is creepy/stalker/pedo-y. And sure, Bella is pathetic and whiny and a doormat. The writing is really painful to read and it takes what could have been kind of an awesome story into the realms of a really stupid teen soap opera. I definitely wouldn't want to let my daughter read Twilight without also reading about some butt-kicking girls. But, seriously... How miscast is Edward in that movie?

I don't buy Robert Pattinson as Edward at all.  He's pretty enough, sure.  But he can't get the scary "I'm a vampire" mojo working even a little bit. I just can't imagine being afraid of this Edward the way Bella is supposed to be. She's supposed to fight the fear away and be in lurve, after all. I think Kristin Stewart is the perfect Bella; if anything, she's far less pathetic in the movie than in the books. Taylor Lautner is a great Jacob. I feel like they really fell down on casting the Edward part.

Maybe it's because I've been watching The Vampire Diaries so religiously. Paul Wesley's Stefan has raised the bar for good (for certain values of 'good') vampires. He's so sweet to Elena that it's almost a little syrupy - and yet he can be extremely unpleasant when he feels that he has to be. When Stefan's monster peeks out, you get a little glimpse of just what he might be capable of, and you really, really don't want to be on the receiving end of that. (Later on in the series, you find out precisely how monstrous he can be. Yikes.)

I think I was willing to give Pattinson's Edward a pass before TVD. I mean, Angel was pretty emo and pathetic most of the time, too, ya know? We were supposed to forget he was a monster and he seldom shocked us with ferocious behavior. Yeah, he could sometimes lose his soul and become a ravening monster, but that wasn't actually Angel; that was Angelus. Pretty sure you get a pass when you misplace your soul and your murderous alter-ego comes out to play.

If Edward is supposed to have problems controlling his inner monster, Pattinson never shows it. He gets weepy, he gets pouty, but he never gets scary. And maybe that's by design. Twilight is the epitome of wish-fulfillment romance, and having the vampire actually be frightening might put a crimp in that. Maybe I'm slanging Pattinson without cause. Maybe he could play an Edward that would scare the pants (ha!) off Bella - and us - and just wasn't allowed to go there.

So, the moral of the story is, we need a better Edward. Oh, and also, if you must give your child Twillight, at least get her some Vampire Academy and House of Night to balance out the patheticness.
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  1. This HAS to be posted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1glNuQiE77E

  2. Geez, you must really love your friends to put yourself through that AGAIN.

  3. Ha! You always have the perfect video for every occasion.

  4. That one really is perfect though. It is actually one of the best one's I have ever seen.

    It also, captures my views, perfectly.