Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Teenage Vampire Movies – Twilight etc…

Apparently this ‘Twilight’ thing is really big with the kids. That’s a good thing; hopefully some of them will search out better vampire flicks and develop an appreciation for the genre beyond Robert Pattinsons cheek bones. With the impending release of the final Twilight instalment, of the recent batch of teenage vampire flicks are there any good ones..? Anything as good, for this market, as ‘The Lost Boys’..? Doubtful but worth a look anyway… marks in A, B, C and D ratings, just like your school reports! Twilight: Breaking Dawn trailer here

We’ll start with ‘Twilight’. I didn’t hate it, as a teenager movie it works well. Yes there are a lot of woe-is-me tormented teenager scenes but they are handled fairly well. The performances are good, particularly Kristen Stewart as Bella. By now everyone knows the story; Bella moves to a remote North-West town to stay with her father, she falls for local vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), he vows to protect her. It looks good and director Catherine Hardwicke manages to keep the film flowing well without too many cringe worthy moments. The North West setting really gives the movie a different feel and it looks great. The only problem I have with it is it’s not really much of a vampire movie. Yes there are vampires in it but they are just there, they don’t really do any bloodsucking and are merely portrayed as an odd family. I like a bit of neck action from my vampires and on that score ‘Twilight’ let’s us down. Cue screaming abuse from 12 year old girls… It is a pretty good movie though; it’s entertaining and obviously hits all the right notes for its target audience. B

The first ‘Twilight’ movie is Citizen Kane in comparison to ‘Twilight: New Moon’. The sequel was directed by Chris Weitz and is a poor follow up. The desaturated look from the original is gone and replaced with vibrant colours, the restrained emotions are now all out there and the CGI werewolves are laughably bad. This time around Bella is torn emotionally between Edward and Jacob (Taylor Lautner); a love triangle that never really gets going. I didn’t like this second movie at all; it’s all a bit obvious and overstays its welcome at 2+ hours long. We really don’t need all the longing looks, pouting and silences. Just get on with it… a disappointment after the surprisingly good first movie. D+

Cirque du Freak: The Vampires Assistant was directed by Paul Weitz, brother of New Moon director Chris. Paul has made a better movie than his brother. Cirque Du Freak is much more fun than New Moon and out points it on almost every level. Apart from sibling directors the other thing that both movies have in common is awful werewolf effects, the one on Cirque is possibly even worse. The story isn’t very original but then these days what is? It’s done fairly well though, moves along at a good pace and has a sense of humour. Teenager Darren Shan (Chris Massoglia) and his best friend Steve (Josh Hutcherson) go to see the Cirque Du Freak. One thing leads to another and after a series of mishaps to save Steve’s life Darren makes a deal with vampire Larten Crepsley (John C. Reilly) that involves more than he bargained for… There are some good performances from John C. Reilly, Ken Watanabe and Ray Stephenson; and Salma Hayek is clearly having fun as a bearded lady. Having already said that this is better than New Moon, it’s not as good as the first Twilight. C+

There are a few vampire series on television now. True Blood is excellent but out of this age bracket. What is in the age bracket though is Kevin Williamsons ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and it’s terrible. Admittedly I’ve only seen a couple of episodes and it’s clearly for teenagers, so not aimed at me… but there’s no denying that it is an awful series. They should be watching the UK Skins (NOT the terrible US version) or anything else. D

I don’t have a problem with the Twilight series, unlike most horror fans who sneer at its tweenage crushes and lack of blood & guts. It’s not aimed at the hard core horror audience so they were never going to like it anyway. However,  it has struck a chord with its intended audience and some of them will no doubt watch more vampire movies because of it, some may even watch more varied horror movies in general and surely that’s a good thing. My top 10 vampire movies will appear here next week.

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  1. Pingback: Stephenie Meyer « socialpsychol

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