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USA 2008
produced by
Wyck Godfrey, Greg Mooradian, Mark Morgan, Marty Bowen (executive), Michele Imperato (executive), Guy Oseary (executive), Karen Rosenfelt (executive) for Summit Entertainment, Temple Hill
directed by Catherine Hardwicke
starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Gil Birmingham, Taylor Lautner, Cam Gigandet, Rachelle Lefevre, Edi Gathegi, Sarah Clarke, Matt Bushell, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Elizabeth Reaser, Gregory Tyree Boyce, Justin Chon, Michael Welch, Anna Kendrick, Christian Serratos, Jackson Rathbone, José Zúniga, Trish Egan, Ayanna Berkshire, Ned Bellamy, Bryce Flint-Sommerville, Solomon Trimble, Alexander Mendeluk, Hunter Jackson, Gavin Bristol, Sean McGrath, Katie Powers, Catherine Grimme
screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg, based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer, music by Carter Burwell, visual effects by ILM, CIS Vancouver, Rez-Illusion, Catalyst Media


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Bella (Kristen Stewart) is the new girl in school in some small town in the middle of nowhere, Washington, USA. Sche soon gets interested in Edward (Robert Pattinson), the handsome but pale outcast who sits next to her in biology class - but the signals coming from him are contradictory, on one hand he shows a definite interest in her, on the other, he pushes her away - but then he saves her from being crushed by a car, obviously using superspeed and superstrength. This makes her suspicious, so she googles a bit and finds out he's a vampire. Edward is a good guy though, a sort of vegetarian vampire, which means he never drinks human blood, only that of animals. But feeling as sexually attracted to her as he is, he more and more feels the urge to suck her dry, but she trusts him and knows he will be able to restrain himself. Edward and Bella's relationship goes better than expected, so one day he invites her to meet his family, including his foster father, vampire Carlisle (Peter Facinelli), who has taught him and his vampire siblings not to drink human blood - but disaster strikes when during a vampire-baseball game to which Bella was invited, they meet other vampires, including James (Cam Giganted), something of a loose cannon who immediately picks Bella as game for his next hunt.

Edward and family do their best to save Bella from James, but James is clever and kidnaps her mother (Sarah Clarke), and he promises to let her go only in exchange for Bella - but when Bella wants to give her life for her mother, Edward and family attack, engage in fight with James and ultimately defeat, tear apart and burn him - but not soon enough, it seems, as Bella has already been bitten by James and starts to turn ... and the only way to save her is for someone - Edward of course - suck the vampire poison out of her body, but that of course also means to suck her blood. Of course, Edward manages to suck Bella's blood without sucking her dry and killing her because he has learned the importance of restraint, but it wasn't easy.

In the end, Edward and Bella go to the prom together, because hey, after all this is an American highschool movie ...

Taylor Lautner plays Bella's Native American childhood friend who will feature more prominently in Twilight's sequel New Moon ...


Is this the fate of the vampire? After a decade or so of being wasted in ever sillier action movies, they become the subject of highschool romances?

Now I admit, I'm not a teenaged girl, which is the target audience for Twilight (and among whom the film did incredibly well), and I know that, but still, I can't help seeing the many shortcomings of the movie as a vampire flick: This film has very little to offer in tension and suspense, as it's on one hand too obvious that Edward will be no threat to Bella right from the beginning (and there is no scene in the film that even puts that into question - a wasted chance), on the other hand, the real conflict - Bella versus James - doesn't kick in until two thirds (!) into the film, and then it's rather downplayed, with the finale - Edward's family taking on James - being as anti-climactic as can be ... and after the finale the film doesn't even end but has the obligatory rpom-scene tacked on. And whatever doesn't go wrong in the storytelling department is pretty much ruined by one-dimensional characters. On top of that, the film features an incredible number of unintentionally goofy scenes (like the vampires playing baseball or Edward treating Bella to a piggie-back ride) while totally lacking in irony, and the makeup the poor vampires have to wear that looks like they have been bathed their faces in flour is among the most pathetic and ridiculous vampire makeups ever brought to screen. Plus Robert Pattinson's rendition of his vampire as a sort of undead James Dean (though he more closely matches Luke Perry's rendition of Dean than the real deal) is a bit much, though the script has to be blamed for this at least in part (Kristen Stewart on the other hand gives a pretty decent performance by the way).

All that said, Twilight still isn't the worst vampire movie ever made, it's only just as bad as the many bland vampire action films like the Underworld-series that have been released in recent years ... and for me that's bad enough, actually.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD