Romy Shiller

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse or Yup

In Film, review on October 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm
My idea of Hell is to be young again.

Marge Piercy

I saw Twilight: Eclipse. It is the 3rd installment of the The Twilight Saga based on the books (‘Twilight is a series of four vampire-based fantasy romance novels by American author Stephenie Meyer. It charts a period in the life of Isabella “Bella” Swan, a teenage girl who moves to Forks, Washington, and falls in love with a 104-year-old vampire named Edward Cullen… Thus far, the first three books have been made into a series of motion pictures by Summit Entertainment; the film adaptation of Twilight was released in 2008 and the second, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, was released on November 20, 2009. The third film, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, was released June 30, 2010.’ Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia)

I am fascinated by youth-culture and the Twilight series is a part of tween and teenage life. Vampires are my thing.

In the film a character is missing, a flyer is circulated, and his date of birth was on it – 1990. In 1990 I was doing my Master’s Degree! I am far from aged but born in 1990?

As the raging hormones around me screamed, I realized this isn’t Kansas anymore. Despite my research rationalizations, I felt old.

Ok, the film – Bella, Edward and Jacob – a real love triangle complete with jealousy, depth and emotion. I believe that the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” series on television was a billion and a half times better but this was watchable and I did kind of feel like a voyeur/visitor. I like the send-ups in Buffy, the horror of high school. Eclipse may have had vampires and humans who transform into wolves, the mystical, but it was a strait forward story and provided a glimpse into the minds of the teen fans. The vampire metaphor for alienation, isolation, eternal youth and beauty continues to fascinate me. Metaphors for transformation are very necessary as teens’ bodies change and as they move into adulthood. It can be extremely complex to tell a tale of teen metamorphosis so setting it in the mystical is a way to deal with that.

Conventional, utopian versions of high school make me ill. Disney’s High School Musical films are true horror to me – creepy, eerie, strange etc. (see my article POP goes the TEEN) The uber-scrumptious Zac Efron is the only eye-candy that makes those films worth watching.

The plot: ‘The vampire Victoria (James’ mate from Twilight) has created an army of “newborn” vampires to battle the Cullen family and murder Bella for revenge. Meanwhile, Bella is compelled to choose between her relationship with Edward and her friendship with Jacob. Edward’s vampire family and Jacob’s werewolf pack join forces to successfully destroy Victoria and her vampire army.’ (Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia) You know, the usual…

This film deals with sexuality or the lack thereof. In ‘POP goes the TEEN’ I say, “In the popular high school film Twilight (2008) the lead characters are in love but do not get it on because he is a vampire and is scared he might kill her. I am sensing a disturbing trend.”

You probably need to be familiar with the main characters – I highly doubt that this film would stand on its own. I think that being involved in teen culture also helps. I can see why most teens like all Twilights – a lot. Their pain, frustration and angst is represented. This film is not about grownups but about them. I think that the film’s slim merit lies in that.

Bibliography
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Creator: Joss Whedon. Mutant Enemy 1997-2003.

High School Musica
l. Director: Kenny Ortega. Disney Channel. 2006.

Shiller, Romy. ‘POP goes the TEEN.’

The Internet Movie Database.
Accessed July 2, 2010.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Director: David Slade. Summit Entertainment. 2010.

Twilight. Director: Catherine Hardwicke. Goldcrest Pictures. 2008.

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia
Accessed July 2, 2010.

Wisdom Quotes
Accessed July 2, 2010.

Romy Shiller is a pop culture critic and holds a PhD in Drama from the University of Toronto. Her academic areas of concentration include film, gender performance, camp and critical thought. She lives in Montreal where she continues her writing. All books are available online.

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