Much like the Harry Potter films, the Twilight films aren't so much adaptations as illustrations. They vary enormously in quality, from the first, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, which is really rather good, to the third (Eclipse), which is very poor though still considerably superior to the second Star Wars trilogy. Breaking Dawn is the book in which the series goes completely bananas, so my expectations for the film were low. That said, I found myself pleasantly surprised. It was still very much painting by numbers, but there were some strong visuals, a good dose of humour, and the plot hung together pretty well. Those who have read the book will realise what a tribute I am playing to the director when I only cringed once: during the imprinting scene in which it was all too obvious that the director had thrown up his hands in the air and said “you can’t do anything with this”. Top marks as ever to Bella's teenage schoolmates, in this case, undercutting the dream wedding with speculation as to how pregnant she is, that being the only reason teenagers get married.
Frostbite (Frostbitten in the US)
I made a big mistake with Frostbite. I planned to watch it on Sunday afternoon, and then decided that I would do more useful things on Sunday afternoon and watch the film in the evening. I got about 2 minutes in and remembered that my low tolerance of scary suspense had been a key factor in the afternoon plan. It does not improve a film to pause it every 15 minutes to lower the tension. Fortunately it proved to be horror-comedy rather than straight comedy, and though it does my ego no good to admit it, because less scary after the Hammer-esque flashback opening. The plot involves doctor Annika and her teenage daughter moving to a town in the northern Sweden in the middle of winter, coinciding with the place becoming overrun by vampires – and with a whole month of night left to go. There is a Nazi eugenicist vampire, a helpless little girl vampire, a confused and rather upset medical student vampire (who gets the best scene in which, he meets his girlfriend’s parents whilst in the process of unwittingly becoming a vampire) and lots of partying teenage vampires, one of whom gets staked with a garden gnome. It’s cheap (total budget c. £2 million), and the mood is all over the place. But the acting is universally good and it’s a lot of fun for 90 minutes.