I can only come to one possible conclusion about the popularity of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. It’s everywhere. Everyone’s reading it. Everyone’s talking about it. But it’s utter crap.
Twilight, you see, is the lowest common denominator of vampire fiction.
A young girl meets an older vampire. And then he tries to push her away, because he’s a vampire and she’s not. And then she finds out. But they’re in loooove. (For some reason.) And also there’s evil vampires, and a feud between vampires and werewolves (who are native americans.) But love prevails.
I think I liked that story better when it was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Well, without the clear foreshadowing to a conflict from Underworld/White Wolf/Dracula vs. the Wolfman, or wherever the whole “vampires hate werewolves” schlock-meme came from.) Compared to the acting of Twilight’s male lead Robert Pattinson’s acting performance, David Boreanis looks like Jim Carrey and Anthony Hopkins rolled into one.
The characters lack any depth, complexity, or real motives for their actions. The vampires seem to be broody for broodiness’s sake. The lovers pursue their love because they love each other- and they love each other because she smells nice and he’s mysterious. And the bad vampire is bad because he’s bad.
The lessons of this movie are damaging: teen love at first sight is true and pure and noble, if someone is a complete asshole to you then you can someday have a healthy relationship with them, and it’s okay for teen-girl masturbation-fodder to somehow become a bestseller with movie rights.
There’s no horror in the vampiric condition in Twilight; you get your pick of powers from your favorite White Wolf splatbooks, you never have to sleep/rest/go into a coffin, you can go outside during the day if it’s even vaguely cloudy, and you get to be good looking, immortal, and mysterious. Oh, but you have to be in high school forever. (Oh noes, high school! Perhaps an 22 year old actor wasn’t the best choice to play someone who’s supposed to be perpetually 17?) Also, if you go out in sunlight, people might find out that you’re DAVID BOWIE. Wait, what?