Twilight | Channel

Kristen Stewart attends a Twilight Portrait Session.

Photo: Elisabetta A. Villa / WireImage / Getty Images

This review was first published in 2008.






2/5 stars


Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), 16, moves from sunny Phoenix to the mountainous town of Forks, Washington, to live with her divorced father Charlie (Billy Burke) after her mother decides to go on the road with her new husband . At her new school, she makes quick friends, but becomes intrigued by her lab partner, the handsome, brooding and so mysterious Edward Cullen (Robert Pattison), one of the famous Cullen clan – a makeshift family in the skin. pale and suspicious. aversion to sunlight. When Edward inexplicably saves Bella’s life in a freak accident, she begins to wonder who he is and what he is – and the two are embroiled in a deeply passionate love affair that is in part addictive and in part. part some supernatural teenage lust.


You have every reason to quench your curiosity and book your tickets for dusk just to see what it is. Because anyone who has read Stephenie Meyer’s series of books (of which this is the first) will know precisely why groups of teenage girls, their mothers, brothers and boyfriends have all gone mad over this love affair. cursed between a teenage girl and a vampire.

It has all the elements of the Romeo and Juliet legend – she’s virginal and pretty, he’s brooding and mysterious in a gothic and swaggering way, and their fate seems to have been written in the stars. It doesn’t hurt that they make a pretty damn good pair onscreen. In fact, much of the young cast is just plain striking, especially members of the Undead Cullen clan. There’s the blonde and bitchy Rosalie (Nikki Reed) who doesn’t like the fact that her “brother” allowed a stranger to enter their hallowed family, cute Alice (who can see the future), the Patriarch of the Dr. Carlisle Cullen family (Peter Facinelli), as well as other disturbingly pale Cullens that we don’t see or hear much.

But in the center of the dusk tale is the intensely passionate relationship between Edward and Bella. She’s been the soul mate he’s been looking for for the best of a century, and her brooding tune sort of sings Bella’s loving heart. And their on-screen chemistry (a massive contributor to the insane fandom the book and film sparked around the world) is sizzling enough to send sparks off into the next galaxy. But as beautiful as Pattison is to look at (and he truly has a fascinating good looks), his perpetual mood can be quite trying. Pattison just didn’t strike the right balance between the enigma and the brooding teenager, and audiences are never quite sure what to think of Edward. Lucky for him, then, that his teenage co-star Stewart, so magnetic in Sean Penn’s In nature, is such an infinitely observable actress, skillfully personifying fear, curiosity and longing for young love.

Some pivotal scenes attempt to demonstrate just how special Edward is. He has the ability to fly and read the minds of others, but the budget for visual effects must have been limited, as you’ve certainly seen more compelling depictions of supernatural abilities on TV shows like Small city and Hero.

Director Catherine Hardwicke seems to have sacrificed much of the substance that made the book so fascinating, for many sensory styling – from the Cullens’ flashy sports car cavalcade and picturesque mountain retreat, to the soundtrack of the cool nude-emo rock.

And for an action-adventure film, the beat is everywhere. Hardwicke awkwardly juxtaposes flourishing romance with horror and violence that cannot be separated from vampire legend, as much as she tries to. Much of the narrative unfolds in fuzzy chunks that never really freeze. And some squeaky lines (“You’re like my own brand of heroine,” Edward whispers to Bella) maybe shouldn’t be tried at home.

dusk is also guilty of possibly one of the colder, more “WTF ?!” the end of any movie released this year. And then it gets worse with the poorly edited closing credits. The lack of cohesion is frustrating when you consider how brilliant this movie could have been. It’s no surprise, then, that Hardwicke wasn’t rehired to lead the highly anticipated sequel. New Moon (coming in 2010).

Let’s be honest. dusk was not designed with serious horror or fantasy fans in mind. It is more Gossip Girl than Nosferatu, but – though it will probably pull your hair out – go see him, if only for the electric vision of the doomed love that is Edward and his Bella.


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