Okay, so I thought, like most of my compatriots here at MovieChopShop, that Twilight was stupid. Every now and again you run across something that is so pop culturally pervasive that you are almost required to see it in order to avoid being frustratingly out of the loop. After seeing the film, I’m glad that I’m in the loop, I just wish the loop weren’t so silly.
But I don’t think I’m alone in seeing the potential in this material. I love a good vampire movie as much as the next guy, but more when they actually try to explore the complexity of being one–like in Interview with the Vampire. And every now and again, it’s just cool to see John Carpenter put a badass, eighties action movie spin on the horror genre like he did with Vampires. The fact that Twilight is framed like a Dawson’s Creek romance kind of begs to be mocked, but it is one of the pop cultural phenomena of the moment, so we have to resign ourselves to its existence and that most of us will probably see next movies in the series out of a sense of obligation. I know I will. Robert Pattinson is, after all, ten million different kinds of dreamy.
But with the rumor mill grinding away, I think we have reason to feel optimistic about the third film in the series, as it looks like Juan Antonio Bayona, director of the supernatural horror flick The Orphanage (loved by many, unseen by me) could be helming the third one. I for one have been a Catherine Hardwicke fan for a while just on the basis of how cool Lords of Dogtown was (check it out, pretty fun) but she clearly had no idea what to do with the Twilight material. Then again, I’m not really sure what you could do to make that story non-totally silly, but I think a more auteurish approach could yield some interesting results. If the studio is leaning toward Bayona as a choice, they are clearly trying to replicate the success that the Harry Potter series enjoyed after bringing Alfonso Cuaron on to direct the third installment. Albiet, Harry Potter provides much more interesting source material than Twilight, but I’m all for bringing indie-directors in for big studio properties. Maybe Bayona can find something interesting in the series while all Hardwicke could really find were sweaty looking vampires with hair that made them look eight feet tall.
Oh, but one choice that I liked in Hardwicke’s film: the absolutely terrifying Peter Facinelli (known to many of us out there gifted enough to remember such a great performance, as Mike Dexter from Can’t Hardly Wait) played the leader of the vampire coven dude. I really hope he comes back. That casting was a masterstroke. I laughed a lot.