Imagine a mediocre episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" without the self-awareness and humor. Now imagine a leading lady and her vampire lover who is hunky in an androgynous, cover-of-Tiger Beat way. Add a plot of the kind Jane Austen satirized 200 years ago, but adapted as a here-today-gone-tomorrow adolescent vampire romance, and the result is "Twilight," a killer movie "?  killer in the sense of killing two hours by slow torture.

High school junior Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) has moved to a small town in Washington to live with her dad. At her new school, the guys start falling for her immediately, except Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), who is pale and standoffish. He appears to not like her smell (or maybe it's just her acting) and ditches school just to avoid her.

Ah, but the truth is that she smells simply delicious and he fears that he will go all Dracula on her. (This smell business has got to be the most risible meet-cute in the history of romantic movies.) Soon, and this will amaze you, they fall in love and Edward takes Bella home to meet his adopted parents and step-siblings, vampires all. This getting to know you segment is the only part of the film that evinces the least sense of humor, and I do mean "the least."

Director Catherine Hardwicke perhaps does as well by this borderline dada material as any C-list director could do. If that's your idea of a good time.

Ah, the children of the night. What ludicrous music they make.

"?Doug Bentin

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