Twilight is a polarizing movie series. Girls love it and most guys loathe it. The movie is based on vampires but, in the eyes of many horror movie fans, it can’t be further from the subject matter. Both Twilight and New Moon present love stories and morality tales women of all ages can love. It also presents a small amount of monster action that might cause men to question how good it could have been. With the release of Eclipse, the action is pumped up and the love story scaled back a bit.
What results is a movie both genders can enjoy. As you prepare to watch Eclipse, the third movie in the Twilight series, here are three things you might not know about this installment of the hugely popular series.
1. Victoria, the bad girl from the first movie, is portrayed by a new actress in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Bryce Dallas Howard, the daughter of former Happy Days star Ron Howard, is taking over the role of the vampire who wants Bella dead. Eclipse plays off events from the first Twilight with Victoria seeking revenge for the Cullen’s murdering her mate, James. Her desire is to kill the one woman Edward loves in vengeance.
The original Victoria was played in the first two Twilight movies by an actress named Rachelle Lefevre. According to Entertainment Weekly, Lefevre had to step aside due to scheduling differences.
The change of actresses does not always work in Eclipse. While Howard is a respectable actress, she does not bring the evil vindictive attitude Lefevre was able to pull off in the first two Twilight films. Howard replaces that personality with a more vengeful and love torn attitude. It might work due to the torment she is facing, but Lefevre’s performance remains the better Victoria.
2. David Slade is the third director in the Twilight film series. He has much more in common with the first Twilight’s director, Catherine Hardwicke, then New Moon’s director, Chris Weitz. Weitz specializes in coming-of-age movies (American Pie) but both Hardwick and Slade have experience with the darker aspects of childhood.
Hardwicke’s first film, Thirteen, is about a young girl who discovers sex, drugs and crime. Since the original Twilight film centers on Bella Swan discovering the dangers of running with vampires, it was a perfect fit for that film. David Slade’s breakthrough role is a movie called Hard Candy, starring Ellen Page (Juno). Page plays a fourteen-year-old girl who comes across a pedophile and turns the tables on him in horrifying ways.
With the religious subtext of the films and the obvious morals the story is presenting to the audience, both directors are a great fit. Twilight, while a mix of gothic vampire tales and modern day love stories, is about young people and their rights-of-passage. There isn’t a much better choice of directors then Slade and Hardwicke to tell these stories.
3. There is more in Eclipse for the guys. The first Twilight film may seem like torture for most of the male audience. A large majority of the film was dedicated to Edward and Bella meeting and pining for each other. By the time the battle at the end comes with James, most guys had already turned off their brains.
New Moon was a better fit because werewolves provide a better visceral experience than vampires but it remains a repeat of the first Twilight, with Jacob replacing Edward in the male role. What works better in Eclipse for the guys is David Slade directing it like a horror movie.
Slade directed the gory 30 Days of Night. He knows how to direct scares amongst the ongoing melodramatic love story. The actual monster scenes in Eclipse surpass anything in the first two movies as far as guys are concerned. The vampires walking out of the water shown in the trailer is just a start. There are a number of scenes on the streets of Seattle that are also truly disturbing.
By the end, especially following the epic battle between vampires and werewolves, Eclipse feels like a more evenly balanced movie for both genders. Girls will still have their Team Edward and Team Jacob love to carry them through their favorite series. Boys will have some great action and truly scary scenes to make it worth sitting there.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse finally accomplishes the tricky balancing act and is the best of the three Twilight movies to date.
Bryce Dallas Howard to replace Rachelle Lefevre in third Twilight film – News Briefs (EW.COM)
Catherine Hardwicke – IMDb.com
David Slade – IMDb.com