Hello again, ghosts and ghouls! It’s been a long time since I’ve written- planning a wedding and then actually going ahead and getting married takes a lot out of you. I’m back with a vengeance, and I am ready to write my cold little heart out. My first review back at Nightmarish Conjurings: TWILIGHT: NEW MOON.
Why am I writing a review of a film that came out nine years ago, you ask? And one so…random? For the 10th anniversary 4K release of Twilight, of course! Back when I was in high school, Twilight, by author Stephanie Meyer, was all the rage. Every kid was carrying the hard cover versions around, and if you didn’t know if you were Team Edward or Team Jacob, you were essentially shunned from society. I, of course, was Team Edward when I was young. Rethinking my decision, I’m Team Charlie because he’s the only one with any sense of logic in this damn series. Needless to say, I can’t say that I’m proud that I read every single page of every single book, and I can’t say I’m proud that I saw the first film. With that, yes, watching NEW MOON was a first watch for me.
I remember watching the first Twilight film and swooning over Edward – how he glittered in the sun, his six pack, his gratuitous angst. I was also 15 at the time, so that explains a lot. Now that I’m 25 and revisiting this series, there is a lot I have to say about it.
I would like to start this review with my opinion on the storyline, which is absolutely horrible. I’ll be perfectly honest, I don’t remember the books much, so I don’t exactly remember how accurate the books were to this film (that is currently in the last five minutes in the background of me writing this). I can’t imagine, though, that if the book was as badly written as the film version of NEW MOON, that I would have finished it. What a ridiculous, horribly written love story about two high schoolers in the most angsty, unhealthy, “I hate you but I love you” relationship with a stupid love triangle thrown in for dramatic effect. The anger that I have from watching this storyline unravel and make absolutely no sense while simultaneously trying to keep people engaged for TWO HOURS AND TEN MINUTES is appalling.
The story includes Edward breaking up with Bella, Bella doing reckless things in hopes that Edward will come back and when he doesn’t, she leads on a bunch of other dudes, one of which genuinely loves her but is also still an asshole. It’s all over the place, there’s really not a lot of clarity, and I’m convinced it’s because the person that wrote the storyline (Stephanie Meyer originally and then Melissa Rosenberg, who wrote the script). It’s all over the place, and the gratuitous high school romance is a great way to keep kids engaged because they’re not sure what they’re feeling during all of the making out, or near making out and heavy breathing, however as an adult watching this film it’s just uncomfortable and intolerable to watch. There’s no chemistry between Kristen Stewart (Bella) and Robert Pattinson (Edward) which just makes the entire thing really awkward, and then throw in some oddly-placed, bad CGI werewolves to try to keep you from turning it off while Edward disappears to go kill himself.
That brings me to the acting in this film. Wow, is it bad. I can tolerate Taylor Lautner (Jacob) for most of it (the ending is a little iffy and overdramatic), but Robert Pattinson does not play teenage angst well, and Kristen Stewart is actually the epitome of horrendous. She looks so uncomfortable the entire time – any romance scene, her shoulders are up by her ears. Any time she’s supposed to lovingly stare at someone, it looks like she’s either going to cry or vomit. Either this poor girl endured some real shit on set, or she has no idea how to express emotion properly on camera. Everyone else is just awkward beyond awkward, which could, again, potentially be the shit writing. Bella’s dad (Charlie, played by Billy Burke) is fine. That’s about all the niceness I’ve got in me.
Watching the bad CGI werewolves, the awful-looking vampire running, the fight scenes…none of it contributes to the story other than “here’s some filler fluff”. The rivalry between werewolves and vampires is just portrayed as “we love Bella more, kind of, I think, or maybe we don’t like her at all, we can’t decide”. They go all the way to Italy to save Edward to save him from vampire suicide and even THOSE vampires can’t act for shit, nor do they feel threatening in any way. Edward’s rival Victoria who runs through the forest for two minutes isn’t scary or threatening. The vampire that is literally inches from killing Bella ins’t scary or threatening. I just don’t know how this film was even released in any capacity.
Anyway, the film score is actually kind of decent; it’s really the only reason I was able to make it through the whole film because I did enjoy that much of it. It played well to the scenes that were going on and it was actually able to drown out just enough awkwardness.
What I would really like to touch upon though, is towards the ending of the film. This is mostly in regards to the storyline, however I prefer to put this in its own part of this review to really highlight how ABSURD it is. I would like to note that these were young adult books, which were then made into young adult films. These are supposed to be high school students, and while of course, their lives aren’t exactly just like ours because as far as I know none of us are werewolves or vampires (though I’m pretty sure there is a Dr. Phil episode about that floating around somewhere), these are still supposed to come off as relatable 17/18 year olds (they reference their graduation a bunch of times). There are tons, and tons, and TONS of young people that watched this series- these kids are MALLEABLE. This series is now teaching them that:
1) Your significant other should keep you on a short leash
2) Your significant other should make you feel less than
3) Your significant other should constantly make you feel like you’re making them upset
4) Your relationship should always feel like walking on eggshells
5) It is normal for your significant other to threaten to break up with you for “your sake”
WHY on EARTH are we teaching kids about how “romantic” it is to be in such sick, unhealthy relationships? This “saga” was a phenomenon, and so many kids were taught to base their relationships on whether or not they felt as shitty as Bella at all times. Lastly, in the same vein as the unhealthy relationship thing: I understand that the age of consent is 18 for marriage here in the US, but Edward ASKS BELLA TO MARRY HIM BEFORE THEIR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION AS A PLOY TO GET HER TO STAY WITH HIM BECAUSE THAT’S THE ONLY WAY HE’LL TURN HER INTO A VAMPIRE. YOU TWO ARE 18. WHAT ARE YOU DOING.
If you made it this far, you now know exactly how I feel about Twilight, not only as a whole, but specifically NEW MOON. What a stupid, sad excuse for a romance film. I’m sorry you read through this entire review. If you agree, I’d love to know. If you disagree, I’d love to hear your reasoning about why this type of relationship is okay in any capacity.