I am on the record on this issue, just so we're clear. I disliked both Twilight and New Moon, would rather soak in lye than read any of the Stephenie Meyer novels, and have a fundamental objection to vampires who sparkle in the sun. I am no closet Twihard, okay? What I am is an optimist, and someone who's always seen a glimmer of promise in this massively successful franchise, resented by real horror fans and Y chromosomes everywhere. (The IMDb user rating is, mysteriously, already at 3.7/10.) I will go see Eclipse. What's more, I even hold out some hope -- not much, but some -- that it might be pretty good. Here are some reasons why.
1. David Slade. I wrote about this at slightly greater length here. It's not about Slade's undeniable chops as a straight-up horror director -- people who think any flick in this series will ever hold its own as a horror film are certifiable. It's about tone. My dream version of Eclipse is filled with the eerie tension that filled every corner of the first 40 minutes of 30 Days of Night. Sparkling vampires or no, this is fundamentally creepy stuff, and we may finally have a director who understands that.
2. The early reviews are positive. The first review from Variety's Peter Debruge says all the right things. According to him, the movie's more dynamic, edgier, better-looking, amping up both the action and melodrama. And there's apparently more Anna Kendrick, which can only ever be a good thing. The Hollywood Reporter liked it too.