If you haven’t heard of the ‘Twilight’ phenomena, chances are you soon will. The much-anticipated film, based on the book by Stephanie Meyer, will be released on December 12th. Starring Robert Pattinson (from the Harry Potter films as the doomed Cedric), Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautor, pre-teens aren’t the only fans who are planning costumes for the premiere. The fan-base ranges from 11 to 60-year-olds, the same demographic as the Potter series. What is ‘Twilight,’ exactly?
The story begins with a girl, Bella Swan, who moves to Forks, a small town in Washington. She’s a misfit who refuses to mold herself to the status quo. She meets Edward Cullen, who’s a vampire. He’s aloof and unfriendly initially, but they end up falling in love. Edward’s family only feed on animals, not people, and the reason they can’t be together is that there is some chemical in Bella that makes Edward crave to feed. On her. A doomed Romeo and Juliet.
There has always been a human fascination with vampires. From Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ to Anne Rice’s ‘Vampire Chronicles,’ the archetypal fangs have become a symbol. It’s particularly attractive to preadolescents, who are dealing with mixed emotions and changing bodies. The feeling of being alien, unlike other people. Special. For adults, vampires represent immortality, which is something most people would jump at if they could. There’s also a sense of eroticism- a ‘sharing’ of emotions or physicality through a passive takeover of the stronger creature.
The film set was recently broken into by Twilight Moms, an organization supporting not just the series but fans everywhere. Their reason for doing it was to get photos that they could post on their site. While stalking hockey moms might sound a bit surreal, it only goes to show that fans of the series are dedicated and multi-aged. On Youtube, the site has had a minimum of 6 million hits worldwide for the teaser alone. If you aren’t already a fan, you may want to check out the book before seeing the film. ‘Twilight’ is most definitely a force to be reckoned with, regardless which age group you fall into.
I’m an American living in Europe. I’ve been writing for almost 12 years.