I have an addiction”¦well, I have two, as a matter of fact: vampires and glitter. However, something I do not have an addiction to, or even a slight interest in, is the glittery vampires of Stephenie Meyer’s book adaptations.
I was more or less forced into my initial curiosity for these books””my nephew told me about them, absolutely amazed that he had read a vampire book I’d never even heard of (as I have long since been considered the vampire and supernatural afficianado in my family), and since it was by then turning into a major pop culture phenomenon, I decided to try it. By the end of the novel, I was completely appalled by what passed for literature in this day and age. I hated Twilight and refused to watch or read anything past that first installment””you could not pay me to subject myself to that torture again.
That being said, I do think Twilight has managed to do something that decades of vampire cinema and centuries of vampire literature has failed to do since: it has managed to “defang” the image of the vampire. These days, too many of the new vampire movies are trying to copy Twilight‘s shockingly successful formula: boy vampire meets human girl, but cannot consummate the relationship, because he is too ashamed of what he is.
Now, I know some will point out the fact that Louis de Pointe du Lac, from my favorite movie, Interview with the Vampire, is also ashamed of what he is, but comparing the two movies is like critiquing the Mona Lisa alongside some child’s refrigerator drawing. Unlike Twilight, Interview has a very deep subtext””it is a metaphor for so many things, including man’s struggle with his own nature, whereas Twilight‘s subtext is more or less about the struggle of two teenagers not to boink each other.
And am I the only one who is catching all of this Mormon propaganda? Apparently not, since any google search of the subject turns up a lot of hits””and in lieu of pointing out all the various Mormony traits of the books/movies, I will point you in the direction of these searches, instead (yes, I suffer from terminal laziness).
I have no beef with what Meyer chooses to practice in her own life, but she’s selling her ideas to millions of prepubescent readers. If this book were full of, say, Wiccan values and themes, people would be up in arms and quoting the scripture before the ink dried.
This could all be written off as simple jealousy, but the one thing I really hate about Twilight is the millions of screaming prepubescent girls who run around now, proclaiming that they “love vampires.” My own 12 year old cousin has a shirt that states “Only a vampire can love you forever.” “Vampire mania” or rather, “Twilight mania,” has brough to the harsh light of day creatures that were meant to dwell in the darkness, and the genre, in my opinion, has suffered for it.
I can now say that I have, in my own way, been a part of a major pop culture trend, something which is relatively new to me. I cannot say, however, that I enjoyed it.