i still think vampires should be dark bloodsucking monsters in human forms and not 200 year old high schoolers with adolescent problems.
If it's just an aesthetic preference, I have no problem with that; if, on the other hand, it's an assertion that the noble/romantic vampire, who remains attractive (theoretically, at least, and I add this qualification because I do not find the boy who portrayed Edward Cullen to be all that attractive) even when she/he "vamps out" is somehow "inconsistent" with the Vampire Tradition, then even Bram Stoker would rise up and PK you for such an assertion.
From the earliest stories in the Folklorismus Vampire Tradition (by the use of "Folklorismus," I intend the folkloric idea of Vampires removed from its culturally-specific, Slavic, Folklore and Legend context
and the beginning of the Literary Vampire Tradition -- although it should be noted that similar beings are recorded in the myths, legends, and authentic culturally-based folklore of other cultures, including, for one major example, the Leannán Sidhe of Irish/Scottish/Manx Tradition) and the Literary Vampire Tradition (which grew out of the Folklorismus Vampire Tradition and includes, more or less, or at least gave birth to, the Cinematographic Vampire Tradition), the Vampire was both appealing and appalling simultaneously. The appealing aspects included being magnetic in a romantic and/or erotic sense, and being attractive in terms of visual appearance, as well as offering the lure of a form of immortality, eternal youth, and superhuman power (indeed, one of these powers is often used as an explanation of the lure of the vampire, the hold she/he has over living beings, and that is a power described as "hypnosis"). The appalling aspects were primarily summed up in one idea: this being is a corpse -- a "living" corpse, perhaps, but nevertheless a corpse, who is cold to the touch, who rests in a coffin, who feeds parasitically upon the living beings of his/her own species, etc.
As far as being "200 year old high schoolers with adolescent problems," that is also hardly a new theme in the Vampire Tradition; indeed, in Anne Rice's celebrated Lestat stories, the reader encounters the child vampire Claudia, with her prepubescent problems. What may
be new (or at least perhaps atypical) in this "young vampire" motif is the concept that a person remains stuck at the physical (and emotional) age he/she was turned at; earlier stories often (but not always) include a motif in which the vampire ages unless she/he feeds on blood.
Personally, I have been put off by the relatively recent depiction of vampires as changing in physical appearance when they "vamp out" to such an extent that they do not merely have fangs and glowing and/or red eyes, but also have some bizarre ridge in their foreheads like they have Klingon ancestry or something, or have a reptilian appearance, or otherwise appear distinctly
non-human. The idea that vampires can transform into fog or wolves or a swarm of rats or other things (or at least the idea that their "hypnotic" power is so great as to induce a mortal to perceive
that they have so transformed) is old enough (although the vampire-into-bat transformation is also relatively new, but hardly inconsistent with the Tradition), but aside from the hairless, long-nailed, ghoulish-looking Count Orlok of Nosferatu
(and the "noferatu-type" vampires inspired by that depiction), which (as I have already pointed out) is less than 100 years old, such an idea is far less consistent with the Vampire Tradition than the idea of attractive, noble (even heroic at times), romantic vampire.
Oh, and one other thing I should have perhaps mentioned in the first post, which your insistence on "bloodsucking" has reminded me of: another thing I've seen criticized about the Twilight
saga is that the vampires in the story are "vegetarians." That term is often bandied about as if it means that the Cullens munch on lettuce and fruit, but those who use the term to dismiss the stories are either ignorant of its significance in the stories, or intentionally twisting the use of the term in the stories. In the first movie (which I admit I finally watched only because people kept asking me what I think of the series, it came on one of the Encore channels recently, and I didn't want to continue to have to reply "I have no real opinion, because I've never read any of the books and never watched any of the movies"), the boy Edward explains that the Cullens refer to themselves as "vegetarians" because they refuse to feed on humans, but instead feed on animals (this is also not a new idea in the Vampire Tradition, although the use of "vegetarian" to describe such a diet may be new -- it's also ironic, and I appreciated the irony).
But I dont like the whole plot and think its pretty weak and not 'enough'. I personally think the filmer/writer should have worked it out more in detail and made it more 'exciting'. And with exciting I dont mean per se blood splatters. No, just a good plot would be enough.
At this very moment this movie has been chosen for 'best vampire movie' and thats because it was clearly directed to adolescents. And since more than the helft of the ppl that are going to the movie are adolescents, it makes kind of sense.
Summary: plot is way too simple.
I've been told that the books are poorly written. I haven't read any of them, so I can't speak to that assessment.
The first film was enjoyable, but I certainly wouldn't call it the "best vampire movie," nor would I even put it in the top ten. However, when compared with movies in which "Dracula" beats his chest like an ape (I don't even remember which movie that was, and it may have otherwise been good, but that one scene was enough to cause my ex-housemate to leave the room in disgust, and I was also rather repulsed by the scene), yeah, it's superior.
Even some of the Christopher Lee movies have less-than-brilliant scenes, in which Dracula crouches in the corner and hisses (although I still rank the Christopher Lee movies above Twilight
I've also seen the character of Bella criticized as one-dimensional or insufficiently developed. There were a few aspects of the movie that, in my opinion, portrayed that character in a way that I did not find pleasing, such as her almost neurotic reaction to Edward's intention to leave for her safety. We get that the girl is "crazy" about him; she doesn't have to be depicted as if she is literally crazy, with an unhealthy obsession over the boy. She also should not be conceived as if she is merely a shadow to his supposed light.
The plot is simple, granted, but that's the general plot for many "classic" vampire stories (as GM Darasuum points out in his reply): immortal, brooding, lonely, vampire guy meets beautiful, young, mortal girl, romance blossoms, some crisis occurs, vampire guy saves mortal girl (or vice-versa), and they all live (or "un-die") happily ever after (presumably, that is, but I know there's more to the story in question than is told in the first movie, having read a summary somewhere). The alternative plot in the "classic" tale is: immortal, somewhat creepy, lonely vampire guy meets beautiful, young, mortal girl, attempts to seduce her, she is taken with him but already has a beau, nevertheless she gradually falls under his spell, her previously-existing beau (often with help from a "wise old man" archetypal character) rescues her by "slaying" the vampire, and they all live happily ever after. There are of course other variations on these tales -- Le Fanu's Carmilla
, for example, which is older than Stoker's Dracula
, and which depicts the Countess Mircalla Karnstein seducing a beautiful, young mortal girl, only to be thwarted by the girl's father (not beau), who has teamed up with a wise old warrior and the heroic descendant of a previous vampire-slayer hero. The alternative plot (charming-vampire-as-somewhat-sinister-but-nevertheless-unfortunate-victim, although probably more frequently encountered than the charming-vampire-as-hero motif) I have given above is that which both Le Fanu and Stoker followed, and it was out of this plot that the hideous and repulsive, dark and monstrous, nosferatu-type vampire was developed by Henrik Galeen and F.W. Murnau in 1922.
I don't like the sparkle thing because I think its stupid. Just my opinion. I also believe Edward is a very poor copy of the vampire Lestat, so that puts a damper on my enjoyment.
Other then what I sated the story of Twilight seems good enough, just not my favorite version of vampires.
I have to admit, although I think the sparkly vampire thing is an interesting twist on explaining why vampires might be averse to sunlight (which as I have pointed out above is an idea that is only 88 years old), I'm not terribly fond of the idea.
Lestat and Edward share some qualities, I agree. I'm not sure I would view Edward as a copy of Lestat, however. In some ways, Edward is more like Mick St. John of the Moonlight
television series (although I like Mick, and Moonlight
, much, much
better than Edward and Twilight
), or Nick Knight of the series Forever Knight
, both of whom probably owe more to Barnabas Collins of Dark Shadows
than any other inspiration.
was a vampire! Barnabas Collins, tragic, unfortunate victim, often violent to excess, mysterious, brooding, lonely, charming, romantic, not afraid to get his fangs bloody (although not desensitized to it nor blasé about it, either), dark, tormented, etc.