New Moon Rises over San Diego
With the latest of the Twilight series arriving overnight in San Diego, it is not difficult to see that there is a divide between those who get the mystique and those who don’t. People of all ages and genders hit theaters last night for midnight showings after waiting in long lines for, in some cases over 12 hours.
Like any entertainment phenomenon, there will always be the lunatic fringe who become enveloped by the story and go to extremes to be the first to get the next taste. This is of course true in the case of the Twilight series; but what is striking about this vampire love story is the demographic of its fans.
Theaters were full to the brim with “Twihards”, consisting mainly of women of varying ages and believe it or not several men. The popularity of the book series began to catch fire shortly after its release in 2005 with its expected demographic was mainly teen and pre-teen girls. Quite unexpectedly though the series quickly began to gain extraordinary popularity among moms, older sisters, and eventually into nearly every segment of the population.
As a male who’s significant other, along with nearly all of her friends, became instantly entranced in the twilight series, I could not make sense of the allure of a fictional vampire on my otherwise completely un-vampire loving spouse. After hearing as much as I could tolerate about Edward (the story’s main character), I finally resolved myself to reading the first book. I had to figure out what was so great about this addiction-inducing storyline and character.
The story involves as you probably already know, vampires and werewolves, which is, believe it or not completely irrelevant to the core elements that make twilight and its main characters so alluring. In fact this is the main misconception by those on the outside of the divide. You can always spot these people, because at the first mention of the series, they respond with instant eye rolling and vocal imitations of Count Chocula exclaiming how ridiculous the whole thing is.
But I digress, the allure of the story is obvious once you get into it. It’s so obvious in fact that it was a bit disappointing that there wasn’t more to it. Edward, one of the story’s main characters and heartthrob played by actor Robert Pattinson, is everything that any woman would want in a man. He is (as a result of his vampire status), beautiful, intelligent, supernaturally strong and fast, mysterious, and completely and undeniably in love with the leading female character Bella, played by actress Kristin Stewart.
What’s not to like? The smartest, strongest, sexiest, most alluring guy in your small town is utterly mesmerized by you. Add to boot, only you get to be on the inside of the gigantic secret that he and his family are a noble clan of vampires that refuse to prey on human beings. Factor in a rival clan that wants to kill you, requiring that you be protected by your amazing vampire lover, and you get the idea about why women in particular love the series.
In the second book New Moon, Edward decides to leave Bella to protect her from the dangers that go along with the vampire lifestyle, which leaves her torn and broken for most of the story. Enter Jacob, played by Taylor Lautner, the young attractive friend (coincidentally a werewolf) that swoops in to console and attempt to gain the affection of Bella, and you have the next component of the alluring story; being torn apart by two different loves.
All of that aside, the story line is admittedly interesting and suspenseful for men and woman alike, which accounted for at least some portion of the male attendance. Early reviews of New Moon are overwhelmingly positive, and, with a somewhat surprising cliffhanger ending, it will no doubt bring much box office success.
In total, there are four books in the twilight series, and production of the third movie “Eclipse” is already finished with a release date of mid 2010. So if you haven’t yet been bitten by the Twilight bug, hopefully you have gained some insight into what has been the draw for so many people. Chances are if you give it a chance you will enjoy it whether you want to admit it or not!