For the record, I am now #TeamEdward.
(@robertpattinsonv / Instagram)
If you’re Gen Z, you've either had a phase where you adored Twilight, or you absolutely despised it.
I’ve always kept my commentary on the series to a minimum, having never watched it, but when my friend recently recommended we watch it together, I thought: You know what? What the hell.
It’s 2020. It’s finally okay to recognize The Twilight Saga for the fun piece of cinema that it is. And with quarantine limiting our entertainment options, it’s the perfect time to revisit these childhood classics with a grain of salt.
Here’s my experience navigating the exhilarating, confusing, and sometimes nonsensical world of Twilight for my very first time.
Twilight – Starting Off Strong
This film lets you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into: a slightly cringe-inducing, light hearted story of glittery vampires, werewolves, and an aloof, pale girl that always seems to be the center of attention.
From the get-go, we’re treated to the overly saturated landscape shot of the iconic woods and the piano theme that makes my heart swoon.
Just in case you weren’t aware that Forks, Washington (the setting of the saga) is very cold and very rainy, the movie constantly reminds you with ridiculous blue color grading that seems to intensify as the movie goes on.
Our first encounters with Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) are hilariously awkward to say the least, and this is where we get the first taste of Edward’s obsession with Bella (and, honestly, vice-versa).
Despite the obvious plot holes, continuity errors, and meme-able lines that made me wince, I thoroughly had a great time watching this movie, and it doesn’t deserve half the hate it gets.
New Moon – The Sophomore Slump
Unless you’re a huuuge fan of Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), you’ll probably agree with me that this is by far the worst movie out of the entire saga.
While watching this movie, I wanted to stop the series entirely. Frankly, I questioned my sanity a few times. I didn’t realize how much I’d miss watching Bella and Edward sitting in the woods doing nothing until it was taken away from me.
The intriguing Cullen family, which was only beginning to be introduced in the previous installment, was rarely seen this time. Instead, we were given a whiny, overprotective werewolf for two hours.
I would’ve thought this film would spend more time explaining werewolf lore and the culture of the reservation, but it also severely lacked in that regard.
However, I did enjoy seeing more of the pixie-cut vampire Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene), my favorite female character in the saga, and her caring, sisterly personality which was developed much more thoroughly throughout this film.
Eclipse – The Two-Hour Pissing Match
Although melodramatic and unrealistic, I enjoyed watching the never-ending back-and-forth between Edward and Jacob as they fought for Bella. I can’t say I understand their motives but to each their own.
The debate between Team Edward and Team Jacob is full force through this movie. While Edward proves himself to be even more kind and responsible, Jacob just keeps showing how immature and overbearing he is.
The Cullen family lore returned as quickly as it left, and the flashbacks about each member’s history were much appreciated since some seemed two-dimensional up until this point.
This movie will change your opinions about at least a few of the characters. Though I found Rosalie Cullen (Nikki Reed) unlikable and dull in the first movies, I gained a deeper respect for her at this point.
On the other hand, I found Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) one of the most interesting characters until the writers casually dropped that he was a former Confederate soldier. The situation was brushed over like no big deal, and to this day I still wonder why it was necessary to have that be part of his backstory.
At least we got this iconic moment in CGI history:
Breaking Dawn Part One – Breaking The Bed?
This movie probably ties with Twilight for the best movie out of the saga. But, I can’t lie, you have to go into this one with a very open mind and a willingness to overlook some things that don’t make sense.
But whoever said movies about vampires were supposed to make sense?
Edward and Bella’s wedding was adorable. And I will admit, I did tear up a bit. I liked seeing the newlyweds honeymoon in a more casual setting; it was a much needed break from the intensity of Eclipse.
But, then there was the sex. The taboo topic of human and vampire sex was tip-toed around since the beginning of the series — and it was all explained with one shattered bedframe and dozens of bruises. Believe me when I say, that was one of the most uncomfortable things to watch.
Also, the concept of Bella giving birth to a vampire-human-hybrid was one of the many strange, underexplained parts of the series. But like I said, to enjoy this movie you just have to roll with the punches.
Breaking Dawn Part Two – Happily Ever After (Finally)
The end is near for all the Edward and Jacob drama as Bella finally settles with vampire life.
Honestly, I felt bad for Bella’s parents. I mean, she barely hinted to them that she was a vampire, and essentially kicked them to the curb once she found the Cullens.
I was confused about the semantics of having a half-vampire and half-human child, Renesmee Cullen, but even worse was the idea of “imprinting” for werewolves.
Jacob imprints on Edward and Bella’s daughter, meaning newborn Renesmee is apparently Jacob’s soulmate. I think we’d all be as pissed as Bella if our former lover was now planning on marrying our two-day-old child. Creepy, right?
The final battle scene seemed like it would be an action-packed, heart-wrenching ending that was necessary to close the saga. Instead, at the last minute, the writers succumb to the “it was all a dream” cliché and say the final battle scene was just a vision of what could’ve happened. Bit of a let down.
The Final Verdict:
My low expectations for the Twilight film franchise were only exceeded by the amount of laughter and hilarity that came from watching this awkward, yet enjoyable series.
Despite pleading for cringey scenes to end on many occasions, I was actually a bit disappointed when I didn’t have any more films to watch. Overall, I think people need to recognize The Twilight Saga for what it’s worth and realize that hating on it arbitrarily is not an admirable personality trait.
Maya Lang is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She enjoys playing guitar, staying up far too late, and daydreaming about living in the '80s. You can reach her at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and movie recommendations.