The reddened interior of the Savoy cinema is a broth of hormones and anticipation as a few hundred school girls squeal piercingly as the curtains roll back for the preview screening of New Moon, the Twilight sequel. Security has been tight. All mobile phones and iPods have been confiscated on arrival and sealed in ziplock bags. That the film is on general release in 48 hours from then matters little to the stern protectors of this humungous cinema cash cow.
It was never going to work out between us and New Moon. Perhaps State was at an immediate disadvantage by virtue of our age, chromosomes and orientation, but we were still stunned and impressed by how dreadful this sequel was. Its lack of atmosphere, style and any sense of gothic menace made its predecessor look like The Godfather. But where Twilight at least had some degree of dark, lustful ambience, New Moon is simply Dawson’s Creek with fangs. Already the series is being likened to the Harry Potter franchise, a comparison that must be based on the dire acting of its youthful charges and the systematic seduction of millions of young people and, vitally, their parents.
-Actors’ Robert Pattinson (looking like a slow-witted version of Batman’s Joker) and Taylor Lautner (or Taylor Six-Pack) are lantern-jawed bloodsucker Edward and dreamy werewolf Jacob, both vying for the attentions of the glum Bella (Kristen Stewart). Edward leaves Bella so as not to put her in danger and in steps Jacob Six-Pack to help take her mind off things. Bar some rubbish about an ancient committee of camp-ires (Michael Sheen disgraces himself) and a perennially shirtless werewolf gang, that’s all you really need to know. The script is piss-poor valley-girl logic (Bella: -So you’re a werewolf?’ Jacob Six-Pack: -Last time I checked.’), the special effects are sub-par for a film of this budget, and the need to cram naked male torsos and moody pretty-boy frowns into every shot verges on pornographic.
There are one or two mercies. The soundtrack – Bon Ivor, BRMC, Thom Yorke – is top-notch, and just audible over the sound of Bram Stoker spinning in his grave. Yorke’s eerie -Hearing Damage’ works wonders during the admittedly effective forest chase scene in the middle of the movie. But other than that, New Moon will be remembered either as harmless teen fluff or the final emasculating stake through the heart of what was once a sinister, dangerous and sexy area of popular mythology.