By CRYSTAL OLVERA
As the clock strikes midnight, the Valley will find itself in the “Twilight.”
With sold out screenings and a radio ticket contest on 106.3’s Hot Kiss, the anticipation will finally end as Valley “Twilight” readers brace for the first film adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s vampire romance saga.
“I know it’s already getting sold out,” said 18-year-old Alyssa Fuentes of Harlingen, who waited an hour in line for the saga’s most recent book release. “Everybody’s been ordering them online. I got mine like a week ago. I even took a day off of work.”
A high percentage of weekend showings are already sold out and four different auditoriums in Harlingen will be open for the midnight showing Thursday night, said James Meredith, vice president of marketing for Cinemark.
“I personally think the customers do have very high expectations for the film because the books are so popular,” Meredith said.
Not since Harry Potter has a novel-turned-film whipped up as much hype as “Twilight.” The book, along with sequels, “New Moon,” “Eclipse,” and “Breaking Dawn,” have together sold 18 million copies.
The novel centers around teenager Bella Swan, played by Kristen Stewart, who moves from Phoenix to Forks, Wash., to live with her divorced father. It is there that vampire Edward Cullen, played by Robert Pattinson, changes her life. Add forbidden love, superpowers and gorgeous-looking characters into the mix and you have legions of female fans swooning over this modern-day supernatural romance.
Director Catherine Hardwicke, known for “Thirteen” and “Lords of Dogtown,” takes the helm of this independently released thriller, which is expected to be a cash cow at the box office this weekend.
Trailers and leaked movie clips have already made the film’s relatively unknown cast Internet sensations with the novel’s loyal fan base.
But what makes “Twlight” so special?
Faith Silva, who plans to see the movie with her mother this weekend, says she enjoys reading the series because it offers a taste of action, adventure and romance.
“I am a hopeless romantic. I am a huge fan of first, young love, basically because I am young,” said Silva of Harlingen. “Reading a story about a young romance, as strong as Bella and Edward’s, gives me hope that even though, unfortunately, vampires aren’t real, that strong type of love can still exist.”
But the “Twilight” saga is not just targeted for teens. The series has also caught the interest of older readers.
“I think it’s humorous that on TV and other media ‘Twilight’ is being marketed as a tween or teen story,” said Nicole Curry, 25, an English teacher from Weslaco High School. “True love translates to any age and era.”
The educator, who became hooked on the series in October, said the book is in high demand at her school. It’s an easy read that leaves readers in suspense and also addresses teen relationships, said Curry.
“Teenagers love that kind of emotional drama. As an English teacher I have asked the students … when was the last time they read a book for enjoyment? Most students quickly respond with, ‘I’ve never read a whole book before’ or ‘when I was in elementary I read …’ ” said Curry.
“The only thing many teenagers seem to pick up for enjoyment are magazines. However, since school began this year I have had many students eagerly asking if I had a copy of ‘Twilight’ and asking their peers as well.”
Bonnibel Rodriguez , 14, said she’s not a big reader either, but was instantly a fan after reading the first book.
“It is like nothing else I have ever read. Especially because I don’t like to read. My friends made me read it and it took me one day to read it and I was very surprised,” Rodriguez said.
“Twilight” is rated PG-13 and is 2 hours and 2 minutes long.