Twilight (2008)

twilight poster 2008 movie
4.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Adapts the hugely popular book

Same flaws as the novel, dull story, so-so acting, poor visuals

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Twilight

Studio:  Summit Entertainment

Genre(s):  Romance/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror

Release Date(s):  November 17, 2008 (LA Premiere)/November 21, 2008 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


What’s your deductible?

Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is sent to live with her father Charlie (Billy Burke) in Forks, Washington.  Starting a new school can be hard and Bella is a new oddity among the students.  Bella finds herself drawn to the equally odd Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and his strange family who no one seems to know.  When Bella discovers Edward’s secret that he and his family are vampires, Bella decides a relationship with Edward can work.  The appearance of a rival group of savage vampires named James (Cam Gigandet), Victoria (Rachelle Lefèvre), and Laurent (Edi Gathegi) means danger for Bella, and now Bella is on the run, and Edward and his family might not be strong enough to save her.


Do you feel everyone is pasty and washed out here?

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, Twilight became a phenomenon when it hit theaters.  Based on the wildly popular teen novel by Stephenie Meyer released in 2005, Twilight already had a strong fan base and became a huge success.  With a number of books already written when the movie was released, Twilight started a film franchise while rocketing its stars to fame.

I have to be honest, being a lit-major, I was curious about Twilight before it came out.  Like many popular novels, everyone seemed to be talking about it, and I decided to read it.  The novel (five hundred plus pages) was a quick read…but extremely dull.  Now, Twilight has been made into a movie…also dull.


I hate picking teams in Vampire Baseball

I know I am not the target audience for Twilight, but half the people seeing the film aren’t the target audience either.  The movie is meant to be a teen or even tween romance, but it has tons of middle-age women flocking to it.  I guess for them, it is the ideal of a girl torn between two guy who have equally good attributes (though this aspect doesn’t develop in this film).

Here, we are pretty much introduced to the characters, have a superhuman baseball game (something which feels stolen from old issues of X-Men), and have one of the weakest ending fights of all time…plus, prom!  It does serve to set-up future films, but as a stand alone plot nothing much happens.


The sparkling was lame in the book…even worse here

Part of the fault of this film lies in that both Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are so unappealing.  I really don’t get it.  You get a pasty white guy with some acting ability and a pasty white girl with no acting ability, and everyone swoons.  There was a big debate whether Taylor Lautner would return as Jacob Black in the sequel since he was rather wimpy, which begs to ask why they cast him for this film in his small role.  The only interesting aspect of this movie is the supporting characters both in Anna Kendrick as Bella’s human friend Jessica and Edward’s undeveloped vampire family.


Yeah! An intense “prom” scene to wrap-up this yawner

It would be one thing if this movie was visually impressive, but the movie also looks extremely cheap.  With the success of the Harry Potter films and the previous success of the books, I thought they would put more work into making the movie look good.  Instead, you get extremely average visuals.  The sparkling vampires were already weak…at least they could have made it look better.

Twilight definitely serves a niche, but that doesn’t mean I understand it.  I like comic books, I get that they are goofy and often poorly written, so I get fandom.  I don’t however get this…I thought that Twilight might be able to improve on a so-so book.  It couldn’t.  Now you get a so-so movie.  Twilight was followed by The Twilight Saga:  New Moon in 2009.

Related Links:

The Twilight Saga:  New Moon (2009)

The Twilight Saga:  Eclipse (2010)

The Twilight Saga:  Breaking Dawn—Part 1 (2011)

The Twilight Saga:  Breaking Dawn—Part 2 (2012)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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