Some writers have a gift of creating worlds we are drawn to enter. Once there, we meet characters that touch something in our souls. We relate to their triumphs and struggles, even when they are characters that are flawed, or in this case, historically written as cruel killers.
The world of "Twilight' is such a world.
The movie is faithful to the book. Set in the stunning Pacific Northwest, which is a co-star of the film, we enter the world of Bella Swan and meet the Cullen vampire family. We can relate to her experiences as the new kid in school, to making friends, and trying to establish a new life. We can relate to the pull she feels toward a mysterious young man. And we can even come to understand his fascination for a human.
Director Catherine Hardwick gives us a character-driven story, rather than segues between fight/attack scenes that are generally how vampire/horror movies are presented. We quickly see that the Cullens are different, and the story is different. Yes, they drink blood, but not human blood, and that makes all the difference to us.
There are humorous scenes at the Cullens and in the hospital between Charlie and the van driver. Bella is a klutz. These are characters we can relate to and understand. Even the vampires have personalities, with depth and nuance that is usually lacking in telling their stories. Lestat, of the Anne Rice films, was a forerunner for Edward Cullen, the kind of vampire I always wished Lestat would be, instead of the dispassionate egoist Rice gave us.
Twilight is a well rounded and entertaining film that does justice to the source material. A sequel is in production, as well it should be. I can easily see all four books being made into stunning movies that attract a faithful audience, just as the books have done.
I am old enough to be the stars' grandmother, but I still related to that kind of love and trust that allows an innocent to touch the heart of a vampire. I like a good story. I like to laugh. I like how myth, story, and imagination can bring any story, any character, any subject, to splendid and colorful life, in the hands of one who knows how to tell a tale.
Stephenie Meyer is a story-teller of that caliber. Buy the books. See the movie. Enter the Twilight world yourself. Don't take my word for it.