From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Ten Things You Should Know About Twilight

You know you’re going to see it, don’t even pretend. Seventy million dollars worth of people went to see it, and if you think you can resist the tide of crazy around this movie, you have something else coming. However, it’s dangerous to go unarmed. Before you settle into the trembling darkness of a theatre overrun by 14-year-olds in their Hot Topic baby tees, you must know what they know, so you can avoid laughing in the wrong place and being immediately decapitated. (They’ll do it, too; they know how, the movie showed them.)

Here are ten things you should know about Twilight before you venture out to see it. Beyond this, there be dragons. Fare well, brave soul.

Girls screaming their fool heads off

1. No, that is not a siren going off every ten minutes. That’s just the audience squealing. Unless your audience goes through simultaneous puberty during the kissing scene and their jeans catch fire, in which case it might actually be the fire alarm. Listen for exit instructions.

Bella Swan 22. Bella’s supposed to be interesting. Yes, that interesting. Yes, she is so interesting that all the guys in school want to date her, plus the kid on the rez, and probably his dad, and she has not one, but two vampires all up in her grill for being so interesting. Yes, I know she’s not actually interesting; what do you want from me, a Master’s thesis?

3. The vampires play baseball. The kid who plays Jasper gets to smack the bat around in the one moment that actually telegraphs that vampires are supposed to be dexterous, and they all dress like a Ty Cobb challenge on Project Runway. There’s scarves and everything. It’s beautiful.

4. You will feel like the movie is six hours long. Be fair; it’s only four and a half.

5. Of course it’s okay to follow a girl around when she’s out with her friends and sneak into her room when she’s asleep to stare at her and drag her deep into the woods to tell her that if she ever provokes you you’ll probably kill her. You’re cute! What’s the problem?

6. Conversely, if you are ever surrounded by strangers and raped, it’s because you weren’t interesting or pretty enough to attract a stalker to come save you. Don’t look at me; that’s your own fault.

7. You’ll like Charlie, probably because he tries to solve a crime in the movie, while in the book he mostly watched football and was a moron. Plus, in the movie he’s got a ‘stache that makes you wonder how he supplements his Police Chief income. My guess: Belt-buckle modeling.

A Loving Vampire Family

8. You will be most entertained by the vampire family, for all the five minutes of them that ended up in the final cut. Mostly it’s just awesome high school nerds whom Bella inexplicably hates, and then four hours of lingering close-ups of Edward and Bella’s eyeball-to-forehead region as they stare at each other in bio lab or in meadows or wherever.

Bella Swan 39. No, she’s really supposed to be interesting! No, REALLY. She’s better in the movie than in the book, if that helps. (I know it doesn’t help, I just have to point this out: in the book he spends two chapters asking her about things like her favorite color and her favorite gemstone, and it’s written like erotica, only it’s the erotica of being found super-interesting when you’re sixteen and not actually remotely interesting. I KNOW, I JUST REPORT THE NEWS.)

10. You can try, but your snark will not stop this movie. Nothing can stop this movie. This is the Optimus Prime of young adult relationship-abuse vampire romance movies. All you can do is bear witness, so you can say to the next generation: “I heard the Squee Went ‘Round the World.”

10.5. It is a chilling sound. You will never forget. You can only endure.

Title: Twilight
Release Date: Playing Nationwide
Rating: PG-13
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Screenplay: Melissa Rosenberg
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson
Genevieve Valentine is a writer in New York; her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Farrago’s Wainscot, Diet Soap, Journal of Mythic Arts, and Fantasy. Her appetite for bad movies is insatiable, a tragedy she tracks on her blog. She is currently working on a formula to evaluate the awfulness of any given film, a scale that will be measured in Julians.

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