C'mon Hollywood: Let Twilight R.I.P.
This Friday is a big day for many of you, possibly for very different reasons. Some of you will be dragged, kicking and screaming, or lured willingly and with great excitement, to witness the end of the TWILIGHT saga onscreen. After four years and five movies, the vampire/werewolf/human love triangle series from author Stephanie Meyer will deliver its final chapter, THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN (PART TWO), and put most of us out of our collective misery. Or, so we hope.
Let’s face it; the TWILIGHT saga has changed the model of Young Adult novel adaptations forever. It has awakened a genre for young tweeners, giving them a venue for the stir of emotions that adolescence brings, which makes kids of that age rabid for one thing; a boyfriend/girlfriend. I saw the first TWILIGHT film in theaters (my only venture for the franchise) and felt that it was fine for who it was intended for, but a pile of shit for who it wasn’t (me). The audience of that first screening was telling of the hype to come, as there was a cavalcade of audible gasps and flowing tears throughout. If we only knew then what was to come…
Since its release TWILIGHT has created a horde of uber-obsessed fans (aka Twi-hards), some of which seem genuinely in need of professional help, while others are really no different than a rabid Star Wars fan. While many of us are annoyed and put off by the contrived characters, lack of any real horror (especially for vampires and werewolves), and those ridiculously long takes of Edward and Bella staring at each other, the truth is that we don’t have any right to begrudge the Twi-hards their entertainment.
But, now it’s time to put that shit to pasture. You’ve had your fun. Hopefully, everyone has lost their virginity and we can all move on. See? It’s not that big of a deal is it? You stare and lust for a while, then you hook up, then you’re dating, then you’re married, then you’re a vampire with a kid that won’t stop growing and your parents are pissed at you for every bad turn you’ve taken in your life. The “meadow dream” is over.
Or is it? See, that’s the problem. The TWILIGHT saga, thus far, has grossed more than 2.5 billion worldwide in ticket sales. That doesn’t account for the books or the merchandise (which includes cookbooks, underwear, dolls, body sparkle, and…tampon cases? Look, Google the shit if you don’t believe me. Or don’t). Bottom line, this is a Golden Goose for Summit Entertainment and to lop the head off that beast and serve it for dinner is not likely something they’re keen on.
We keep hearing about this “twist” ending for the final chapter this Friday, which is sure to stir some kind of controversy amongst fans and non-fans. For fans, there’s the potential to disrupt canon; for non-fans, it’s the possible threat that they could leave the door wide open for a whole other set of films, which will make most of us do the Darth Vader "no" howl from REVENGE OF THE SITH. And break shit.
The thing is, TWILIGHT is a juvenile, eye-rollingly awful series of films. I’m pretty sure it can be scientifically proven. And, I’m totally cool with that. Let the tweeners have their heyday. But, once the childish endeavor is over, I think it best to move on to better material. I know that Summit execs are licking their lips in anticipation of finding another way to milk this cow, but for f*cks sake, there are rows of Young Adult novels that can be turned into a franchise.
And, obviously, Hollywood has taken note of that. We now have even more high-concept love triangle pics in our midst, such as THE HUNGER GAMES, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, and the next Stephanie Meyer adaptation, THE HOST. Do you know what that means? It means that there are a lot of significant others who will have to suffer through these overblown love stories for many more years to come. All thanks to a sparkling, fangless vampire, a “hunky” werewolf man-boy, and a seriously disturbed female protagonist who does it all for “love.”
What we ask, dear Hollywood, best bud, good pal, awesome friend, is to please let TWILIGHT go. End the suffering, the madness, the humiliation, the unhygienic products, and the emasculation of two of horror’s most popular archetypes. Enjoy your money. Buy a hot tub. Have a party. But then, you let that shit go, cool? I’m positive you can find some other way to lure tweeners into theaters, but please, not with more of this. All involved deserve something better. We’ve bitten the apple, our innocence is shattered, our psyches ravaged; let us be free, once and for all.