November 16, 2012 • 05:35:31 p.m.

‘Twilight’ zone: Fans thirsty for final film

By JAMI KUNZER – jkunzer@shawnews.com

They're proud to call themselves Twi-Hards, and they'll be among the first lining up tonight for one last "Twilight."

Area fans of the vampire-romance series eagerly have awaited the release of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2," the final in a five-film epic spun from Stephenie Meyer's four novels.

What is it about the saga that has drawn in devoted fans of all ages?

"I think it's the whole love story," said 30-year-old Cortney Rebman of McHenry, who has gathered with three friends for midnight showings of each film premiere.

MORE TWILIGHT: Read the movie review

The four will carry on the tradition tonight wearing their homemade "Twilight" shirts.

Two of the shirts support "Team Edward," while the other two represent "Team Jacob." Edward and Jacob are Bella's love interests, and the trio of characters are the heart of the film.

On the back of Rebman and her friend's "Team Edward" shirts are the words, "Real Men Sparkle," referring to Edward's skin when the sun shines. The "Team Jacob" shirts counter with, "Run With The Wolves," on the back.

"I am not a mosquito," joked Rebman's friend, Maureen O'Brien of "Team Jacob."

O'Brien of Woodstock started reading the books because her students at Allendale Treatment School in Woodstock were reading it. She immediately became hooked.

"They're good for the imagination, kind of suspenseful," she said.

"I definitely like the books a little more, but the movies are really good," she said.

And, of course, she enjoyed the second film, "New Moon" the best because it features the romance of Bella and Jacob.

"I tend to go toward characters that don't get as much attention," she said of her attachment to Jacob. "Team Edward just gets too crazy so I'm going to root for the other guy."

Not Rebman, who says the chemistry between Edward and Bella is unbeatable.

The two admit they're typically among "the older crowd" at the theater, but they don't mind. They'll lose contact over months, but "Twilight" always brings them together, they say.

"Nothing's going to stop us from missing it," Rebman said.

Same goes for 16-year-old Kara Niles of Crystal Lake, who's planning a "Twilight" marathon after school at her home, followed by a trip to a 10 p.m. showing of the latest and final film.

She became a fan when she picked up the first "Twilight" book four years ago. The book was in the school's Lost and Found and on was going to be thrown out, she said.

"I read it in a night and loved it... I got so crazy with paraphernalia and talking about 'Twilight' all the time that people started calling me vampire girl," she said.

Niles said her favorites always will be the first book and film, and she's an Edward fan, drawn to his "tormented soul."

"The romance is what drew me in, and then the cool vampire aspect kept me reading," she said.

Like most fans, she's torn by the ending of the series.

"I'm happy to see the last book come to life, but started to get really sad when I saw a trailer the other day and it hit me that it's going to be over."

There's just something about "Twilight" that draws you in and you can't detach from the story, said 17-year-old Brooke Archambeau of Crystal Lake.

The books drew her in, along with the characters and romance. Though she's a fan of Jacob, she said she's Team Edward because of his "old soul."

"A love story about a normal girl who falls in love with a vampire and werewolf is so intriguing," she said.

"Like I have been doing since the premiere of the first movie, I plan to attend the midnight premier in my area and wait in line dressed in my 'Twilight' gear like the 'Twilight' obsessed fan that I am," she said.


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