I want to start this TBT post by saying that, no matter how much fun it was discovering films from 1988, I’m so fucking happy that my Throwback Thirty series is over. The problem with watching films for this blog is that, more often than not, I don’t get to watch the films that I want to. It can be a bit of pain having a craving to watch something but having to put it permanently on hold to watch a shitty film from 1988. However, there was a part of my that really liked having a themed TBT series. So, I was all ready to start a new series in which I go back a re-review films that I’ve already written about on the blog. (Which, as it turns out, is something of a fuckload.) I thought it might be interesting to compare my feelings then and now. But, I’m not sure if it’s actually a thing worth doing so, disclaimer, I might very well abandon it in the next few weeks and just review films I haven’t done before. But for now, and partly because the New Year is about reflecting as much as it about looking forwards (thank you Janus), I’m going to get all nostalgic and go back to the start.
Yep, picture the scene: it’s September 2011. I’m in the final stages of writing my post-graduate dissertation and am probably sick and tired of gothic fiction. On a whim and having had very little sleep, I decide to finally set up the film blog I’ve been thinking up for years. Why? Because I’d recently seen Twilight for the first time and I had some deep thoughts about it. Mainly that it was absolute dogshit. Being my first review though, I attempted to be somewhat restrained and level-headed… something that I have long since abandoned. Yes, I was still over-the-top and critical:
Twilight is everything I was ever led to believe it to be; essentially it’s vampire-centric, family-friendly porn. It is the stuff of every hyperbolic teenage girl’s fantasies. The handsome and mysterious stranger without the underlying issue of sexual desire. It is a safe but bland love story.
But I did also try to remember that I wasn’t exactly the target audience. I was never going to like a film based on a YA romance series that I’d never read. And that’s okay.
I’m still aware that I’m the person that these films were made for but I’m also older. Older and, therefore, tired of being tactful. Twilight might entertain its fans but it certainly isn’t a good film. The acting is terrible and the chemistry between the two leads is awful. This is a film that stars some actors who have gone on to prove how great they can be yet here they all seem stiff and unsure of themselves. Nobody in this film seems like a real person, which makes it really difficult to give a shit about them. The romance, as I said the first time around, doesn’t feel at all convincing yet it’s supposed to be the greatest love of all time. We live in a world where the film Up crammed a developed and layered romance into the opening few minutes yet Twilight can’t make me believe these two characters are in love for the full 2 hour running time.
And then there’s the awful grungey direction style. I’m sick of all of the unnecessary shots of trees and nature. Watching it now, I feel like I’m sat in front of a lazy parody for a Scandi-drama. This grown-up style just jars with everything else that we’re seeing. If the plan had been to create a darker, noir-lite feel then it just wasn’t pushed far enough. There’s no real sense of danger here and no real example of the true power these vampires yield. There is a hilarious scene where the good vampires face off with the bad ones and it’s laugh out loud funny. There is no violence but all the befanged beings just angrily stare at each other whilst stopping slightly. It’s so fucking stupid.
All of this film is just fucking stupid. And, even though I don’t actually want to offend anyone who likes it or the books, I can’t see how it is still so beloved. It’s boring and badly made. The script is repetitive and the dialogue is stilted. The cinematography, though often kind of beautiful, doesn’t feel write for the tone that is being created. It’s one of the most unintentionally funny films I’ve ever seen. As I see it, the only thing that takes it seriously is itself. I hated this film the first time I saw it. I didn’t think it would be possible to hate it more. About 7.5 years later, and it turns out I was wrong.