Hollywood’s Nostalgia for Supernatural Romantic Films
Hollywood evolves, new ideas emerge, others are left behind and nostalgia makes us look to the past longing for movies that marked us and that today have disappeared or moved to the background. But it does not only happen with great masterpieces, deserving of going to the Olympus of the seventh art, also with titles of questionable quality that for certain reasons defined eras, created a commercial trend with which they broke the box office and stayed with us on fire.
Just It happened to me when I remember the wave of supernatural romantic cinema that emerged at the end of the 2000s, when Twilight emerged as an incomparable phenomenon of teen cinema and all the studios rushed to emulate its formula with forbidden romances, dark creatures, plots with a disconcerting balance between terror and high doses of sugar or young and attractive talents as protagonists. Of course, it was plagued with terrible titles, but at present, seeing the drift that teen cinema has led to with stagnant films on the worst side of these stories, he makes us look at his phenomenon with a certain melancholy.
And it cannot be denied that in this dark and supernatural side there were really attractive ingredients that made us not oblivious to his success and miss his presence in today’s Hollywood. And there is an example that seems perfect to explain it. I’m talking about the version of Little Red Hood that Amanda Seyfried starred in 2011, the film titled The Girl in the Red Cape that was produced by Warner Bros. and featured the director of Twilight ahead.
It was a reinvention of Charles Perrault’s story, adding in between everything that worked in the saga of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, that is, a love triangle, a dark setting and a supernatural universe of legends and creatures. It was a weak movie that didn’t even do well at the box office, but it had such hypnotic elements that in my teens it became one of my biggest guilty pleasures.
Loving terror, I was hooked on its gloomy fairy tale settings, the mystery surrounding the werewolf who had unleashed terror in the forest, with its cast of powerful names like Seyfreid herself or Gary Oldman and with the question of that it not play all its cards on the romance between its protagonists, which is exactly what always scared me of this type of cinema. in suspense following his intrigue and even being surprised by the final revelation of the murderer.
It is true that it focused too much on the adolescent audience and that it lacked seriousness and situations that were more elaborate in the script, but it was a perfect film for those looking for light entertainment within the romantic genre thanks to its evocative supernatural touch. And I can do the same say of many of the questionable tapes that populated this genre, such as Memoirs of a Teenage Zombie, The Host, I am number four, Shadowhunters, Beautiful creatures or Twilight itself.
There was always something from his dark universe, his forbidden romances and otherworldly creatures that made you feel interested, even if you left the room thinking you had seen the worst movie of your life.
And it is a detail that current adolescent cinema has completely lost. After this fever for the supernatural went to the background, the genre, after the passion that unleashed The Hunger Games, paid all its attention to dystopian universes with Tapes like Divergent, The Giver, The Fifth Wave or Powerful Minds.
Instead, we did find tapes with a more serious and elaborate background, as in the case of the Jennifer Lawrence saga, and although most of them were perceived as a desperate attempt to ride the wave, they also proposed universes with highly vindicated details, especially in his extreme futuristic visions.
However, everything changed when the phenomenon of fanfictions -stories written by fans based on the material of a franchise and platforms like Wattpad, where young writers publish their own stories- took over Hollywood. When Fifty Shades of Gray, born from an erotic fan story about Twilight, was a success, adolescent films began to follow suit, emerging stories of toxic romances that went too far, such as After, a fanfiction that initially revolved around Harry s that led to another phenomenon of masses and another prolific cinematographic saga.
This was followed by other similar publications that emerged on the internet, such as Through my window by the Venezuelan Ariana Godoy on Netflix, Culpa Mía by the Argentine Mercedes Ron on Prime Video or Wonderful disaster by the American Jamie McGuire in theaters.
All of them focused on abusive relationships and erotic morbidity where the sense of ethics is neither there nor expected. Perhaps it is that age affects me, but thinking about everything offered by movies like Twilight or the aforementioned case of The Girl of the red cape, which even with questionable quality and without getting rid of toxic romantic details managed to show off; It is striking how much the genre has declined towards these other poisonous stories that have little or nothing to offer beyond their erotic charge and their unusual provocation.
For all these reasons, it is difficult not to look to the past and think longingly of these supernatural romantic films on the big screen, which over time, when prejudices are put aside, one learns to see with different eyes. In fact, I would dare to say that television phenomena like Merlina or Riverdale have drunk a lot from this old formula of youth cinema to weave their success, from knowing how to build attractive and gloomy atmospheres for their potential adolescent audience.
They do not seem to me to be 100% comparable cases because these two series go far beyond the mere romantic question, but what I am going for is that although their plots, mysteries and romances may be weak and fall into some other common place, the packaging is so good that it’s almost impossible not to be drawn to it.
I only hope that Hollywood becomes aware of this, because even if one is already far from being a teenager, I cannot deny that I would enjoy this type of film on the big screen again.