Here’s a follow-up to yesterday’s rule about throwing away the map. I finally got around to seeing the first Twilight movie, which made for a baffling and dispiriting evening. Obviously, I knew it was teen-targeted melodrama, so I expected to find the tone a little overwrought, but, given the popularity of it all, I assumed that at least the plotting would be pretty solid. Hoo boy, it wasn’t.
A girl falls in love with a vampire. He lives in a house full of incestuous vampires but he tells her she can trust them because they’re all vegetarians. Sure, someone keeps sucking the blood out of the local townspeople, but it’s not them, he promises. The girl shuns her loved ones and puts all her trust in this new family... …so I keep waiting for the scene where the cult she’s joined turns out to be evil, right? It doesn’t happen. It turns out that she’s joined a good cult. The bloodsuckers turn out be a few bad apples who got shunned from their shiny happy family.
Going into the second half, things get even more backwards. The three bad apples decide that they want to steal the girl from the seven good guys. One of our heroes does the math and announces: “Well this won’t be so hard, there are seven of us and three of them.” Now, usually in a story, this would be the cue for the good guys to start getting killed off one by one until it’s down to just our young lovers against the three killers.
But once again, my expectations were confounded. Instead, the odds shift in favor of the good guys. One of the three bad apples shows up on their doorstep because he feels bad about all the fighting, and he wants to make amends by telling the good guys everything they need to know! Then one of the last two bad guys decides to go on vacation for some reason. The odds are now 7-1, good over evil. Guess what happens when the one remaining bad guy attacks our heroine? The seven good vampires immediately pounce and tear him limb from limb. End of movie. (Except for twenty minutes of prom.)
This brings us to a variation of “Tear Up The Map,” which is “Any Place That Appears To Be Safe in the First Half, Should No Longer Be Safe In The Second Half.”