All right, all right, settle down now, class. We’ve all seen the memes. Real vampires don’t sparkle, right? Real vampires are Kiefer Sutherland and the Lost Boys, they’re Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie in THE HUNGER. I could go on.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of our collective systems, today I’d like to address the class on the subject of TWILIGHT, the biggest franchise since Harry Potter and without which there would be no FIFTY SHADES OF GREY franchise, because the FIFTY SHADES books started out as TWILIGHT fan fiction. See?

I for one thoroughly welcomed both TWILIGHT, the films and books they said were for teenage girls, and FIFTY SHADES, the ‘mummy porn’ that middle-aged women could supposedly binge-read in perfect privacy on their kindles, like a bunch of sex-hungry, well, mummies. It was about bloody time the film and book industries did something for the female sex!

TWILIGHT (2008) is the first film in the TWILIGHT saga. It features Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, a seventeen-year-old schoolgirl who got in one little fight and her mom got scared and now she’s moving with her auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.

No, wait, that was totally Will Smith as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Bella Swan is actually moving in with her sheriff dad Charlie in Forks, a small photogenic town in Washington, after living with her flighty mom in Phoenix, Arizona. Forks has the most fabulous rainy woods, rivers and mountains and is gorgeous to look at, but Bella, shy and not too ugly herself, isn’t looking at the scenery.

She’s way too busy falling head-over-heels in love with a boy-man at her school, Edward Cullen, a member of the mysterious and pale-faced Cullen family. It takes Bella a little while to work out what we all kind of suspected, back in the day. He’s deathly pale and his skin feels freezing cold to the touch. She’s never seen him eat, and he’s unnaturally fast and strong, even saving Bella’s life in a car accident once with his pure-quick-wittedness and the strength of ten men.

So, what else could he be but… a fortune-telling raccoon with a musical ear and the power to see into the future. . .? No, no and no. He’s a deeply introspective vampire, ‘turned’ by his foster father Carlisle Cullen during the Spanish Influenza Outbreak of 1918. Now he lives with his rich immortal father, just mentioned here, and his rich immortal family in their fabulous glass house high up in the drenched and dripping woods of Forks.

Bella is willing to do anything to get Edward to stay with her forever. Edward isn’t so sure. He gets all mealy-mouthed and says things like, But, I’d only hurt you! And Bella just gets all carried away, saying to the shocked Edward, oh, but I’d really love that, bring it on! And Edward says, well, you must be crazy, missus, but if that’s what you really want, who am I to argue?

So they become the school’s hottest new couple, much to the concern of Edward’s family. They’ve survived this long only by keeping their deadly secret from the humans amongst whom they live and mix daily. If Bella leaks this secret, she will not only endanger all of them but she will be the biggest blabbermouth since Kat Slater from EastEnders. She knows what she did. (‘I’m your muvver, Zoe…!’)

Anyway, Bella goes to the home of the Cullens at Edward’s request and is welcomed by them as cordially as if she were a vegetarian hot dog on a stick. Yes, the Cullens are ‘veggie’ vampires, only drinking the blood of animals, as opposed to whatever’s been murdering and mutilating random people in the town of Forks.

It wouldn’t be the three weirdos who’ve just crashed the Cullens’ lame-o baseball game, could it? And, if they do happen to like the taste of human blood and flesh, has Edward just put the still human Bella in the greatest danger since a bunch of toffee-nosed English chaps decided amongst themselves that that nasty little commoner Hitler was in fact ‘all talk’…?

Now, for homework, class, please discuss the following, giving arguments for and against:

  1. Does Edward Cullen exercise the kind of coercive control over schoolgirl Bella Swan that has recently put Welsh footballer Ryan Giggs in a court of law fighting for his reputation…?
  2. Why do you think Bella Swan is so willing to give up everything for the love of this sparkly teenage boy? Is she suffering from extremely low self-esteem, and from where might she have obtained the notion that she, Bella, is a sack of shit, whereas Edward is a total prize…?
  3. Why did I completely forget to mention Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob Black, Bella’s forgettable old friend whom even Bella has trouble remembering?

One more thing before you go. Jackson Rathbone, who plays the vampire Jasper, is in fact distantly related to British acting legend, Basil SHERLOCK HOLMES Rathbone. There’s the bell, make sure you bring in NEW MOON, the second book in the TWILIGHT saga, with you tomorrow. If we’ve literally nothing else to do, we might have a browse through it. Good afternoon to you all now. No running in the corridor, Matthews, you little shit! Christ, where did I leave my fags?


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:

Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books: