The story is filled out by three bad vampires who show up in Forks and start a killing spree. They don't share the Cullens' vegetarian tastes, nor Edward's resistance to Bella's blood. The problem with the fearsome trio is that they aren't particularly scary, nor are they interesting. With Twilight hinting that some of these same characters will factor into the movie's sequels, viewers can only hope that the villains develop into more intriguing personalities.

Nor does the excess of other characters on the periphery of the central story in Twilight help matters. Perhaps these characters also are crucial to future chapters in the film series, but those unfamiliar with the full arc of the Twilight stories will be left scratching their heads about the bevy of personalities introduced early in the film, then dropped for most of the remaining running time.

Despite these drawbacks, it's not difficult to enjoy Twilight during its first hour. Director Catherine Hardwicke, who directed Evan Rachel Wood so effectively in Thirteen, gets another good performance out of her female star (Stewart) here. She also surrounds the tortured Edward with a group of siblings strange enough to keep even the most jaded viewers watching and wondering about their identities. However, once Bella and Edward declare their feelings to each other, the film begins to fade, shifting its focus to the trio of lackluster villains and their inevitable confrontation with the Cullens.

Twilight is a film that fans of the book may savor. For the rest of us, it's a mildly interesting first taste of a story with lots of room to develop.

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  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Drinking; a character refers to another character as their "own personal brand of heroin."
  • Smoking:  None.
  • Language/Profanity:  Lord's name taken in vain; some foul language.
  • Sex/Nudity:  Passionate kissing; Edward and Bella kiss and lay next to each other in bed; Bella is shown in bed, in a negligee; a girl says a dress makes her cleavage look good; Bella's mom asks if Bella is "being safe."
  • Violence/Other:  A security guard is chased and killed; a man in a boat is attacked by three vampires; reckless driving; Bella imagines Edward biting her neck; other scenes of vampires biting necks; a vampire is killed and burned; a prolonged fight between vampire clans.