Hold On Tight, Spidermonkey

Hold On Tight, Spidermonkey

Static Mass Rating: 5/5

Release Date: April 6th, 2009
Certificate: 12
Running Time: 121 minutes

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Cam Gigandet

Based on the book by Stephanie Meyer, the first of the Twilight Saga films introduces us to Bella, the Cullens, a clan of vampires who are about to take on a trio of troublemakers who arrive in town for some fast-food.

Kristen Stewart plays Bella, a teenage girl who has just moved from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to live with her dad in the cold, wet town of Forks, Washington. On her first day at school she is meets a new group of friends but is shunned by mysterious and spellbindingly handsome Edward Cullen. As the two teens slowly get to know each other and gain each others’ trust, Bella feels there is still something he is not telling her. At the same time, her dad, who works for the police is investigating a series of brutal murders and it looks as if there might be something out there attacking people.

Bella begins to suspect that Edward and his family are vampires and confronts him about it, but admits that she is not afraid of him and soon the two of them embark on a supernatural love affair; scaling the highest treetops to enjoy the views together, laying on the dew-dropped grass, gazing into each others eyes and being invited by Edward’s family to have dinner at their place. Things begin to get complicated when a renegade group of vampires make themselves known and own up to killing the townspeople. Bella’s life along with her family’s is put at risk and it’s up to Edward and the rest of the Cullen clan to protect them as the vampires battle it out against each other.

The movie looks great; the cinematography is gorgeous, especially in the outdoor scenes with Edward and Bella. It also has a very natural feel to it, the colours are fresh and beautiful to look at, and nothing seems over saturated or lacking in anything. Perhaps it has to do with the fact this is a movie made from a woman’s point of view; directed by Catherine Hardwicke with screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg and based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer. Perhaps this is what makes it so fresh and the fight scenes between the vampires aren’t laden with testosterone, special effects and heavy rock music. Instead we see motivation, passion and very sensitive acting heightened by carefully chosen music as the soundtrack.

Scenes such as the one where Edward and Bella lie next to each other on the grass are a cinematic treat because the camera, the actors, the set, the lighting and the music are all working in perfect harmony to create a well balanced scene, and the whole movie pretty much follows this example. This pretty much makes it my movie of the year, beating off the easy competition of remakes, sequels, prequels and re-imaginings.


I honestly did not think it would be possible to give the vampire legend a new lease of life and reinvent it in such a way that even a hardcore vampire fan such as myself would be able to fall in love with it, but Twilight really managed to do it. Sure, it does away with the mirrors, ring of garlic and crucifixes which have long been some of the most important trademarks of the vampire along with sleeping in coffins; fear of daylight and love of old castles, but it adds an entirely new set ideas, such as the fantastic vampire baseball game and what vampires really look like in the sunlight.

One thing remains the same though and it’s the thing which maybe we all can identify with; the long search for love which for vampires must be even lonelier because of their immortality. The story is told from Bella’s point of view and through her eyes we experience how her feelings for Edward grow as she gets closer to him, we see that she looks past his preternatural powers, killer instincts and blood lust and sees the 17 year old boy who loves playing the piano, talking with her and sharing their lives together.

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