KELLY: “Twilight” obsession bites

Jack

Earlier in the year in this column, I admitted that after initially hating Twitter, I gave it a shot. I came around and found it was actually worthwhile. That was a one-time deal, it seems, because I had no such change in perspective after seeing the latest cultural phenomenon: “Twilight.”

I realize I’m a little late to the whole “Twilight” party, as the second movie is already out, but it’s recently come to my attention that this series about the lives of adolescent vampires isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

This wasn’t supposed to be a “Hey, what’s the deal with ‘Twilight?’” column, but … seriously, what’s the deal with ‘Twilight”?

The second installment of the movie series, “New Moon,” came out at midnight Thursday. “New Moon” shattered the record for biggest single-day opening, grossing more than $70 million over its first 24 hours.

Dedicated fans showed up in droves to the midnight showing. I knew at least 10 people who flocked to the theaters to be the first to fawn over the 104-year-old-but-still-super-sexy Edward Cullen.

These are supposedly well-adjusted college girls. Something with a pull that strong has to have some merit, right? Maybe. As a “Twilight” outsider, I just can’t wrap my head around how this is somehow entertaining.

I don’t understand the fascination with vampires. But maybe it’s just a personal thing. The Count from “Sesame Street” haunted my dreams as a child. HBO’s “True Blood” still scares the hell out of me. Even those puppets the guy performs with in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” make me shudder in fear.

To me, becoming a part of the “Twilight” phenomenon is exactly like the process of turning into a vampire.

A friend recommends the books or movies to you the same way a vampire bites its victim’s neck. And boom. Just like that, you’re initiated in the cult of the occult.

You’re helpless, a slave to the lovesick struggles of Bella and Edward. For someone who’s never read or seen “Twilight,” the phenomenon is impossible to comprehend.

Toy company Mattel recently came out with an action figure of one of the characters, Jacob, featuring him buff, shirtless and wearing self-made cutoff jean shorts.

While this does remind me of a simpler time — carefree summer weekends spent taking float trips down the Missouri River — I think I finally understand why women get so upset about Barbie dolls’ unrealistic features.

Much like the way Barbie’s exaggerated measurements probably make women feel, the Jacob doll’s chiseled arms and washboard abs make me wish I hit the gym more. Or ever.

“Twilight” is grabbing the attention (and money) of the “Harry Potter” demographic, and it’s not letting go. Plenty of comparisons have been drawn between the two insanely successful franchises. And we all know what’s coming next.

On the heels of these successes, writers across the globe will be vying to give the world the next big phenomenon. What will it be? With wizards, witches, vampires and werewolves covered, all I can imagine is a series about cannibal grade-schoolers who communicate telepathically. Really, at this point nothing would surprise me.

I’ll never understand “Twilight,” but that doesn’t matter. The fact remains that it’s one of the most popular books and movie series ever.

Something about adolescent vampires draws in rabid fans of all ages. It’s been wildly successful, so there’s obviously a market for it.

And its artistic merits aside, the people behind the phenomenon are smiling all the way to the bank. I’m a “Twilight” hater, but I’m just jealous I didn’t think of it first. Now, please excuse me as I get started on my grade school cannibal book.

  • Sonja Hodzic

    Twilight saga is a beautiful love story with desire , my opinion, for eternal life in love, without illness,pain in a way we know. I admire Stephenie Meyer how she created all characters and theirs worlds, laws.
    Actors are really very good, directors too.
    So , I enjoy in the all books, movies and I am looking forward for the Eclipse.
    All other things, around movies, like gossips don’t interesting me, but they are part of the show business, are they?