It’s 2008. You’re in your cinema seat, waiting in anticipation for the film to begin. It finally does. The room and screen go black. You hear the words, “I’d never given much thought to how I would die. But dying in the place of someone I love, seems like a good way to go,”. You feel the excitement in the room as everyone settles into their seat to watch the beginning of one of the most iconic teen franchises of all time.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for basically all of the late 2000s, you might’ve heard of a little film series called The Twilight Saga. If, by some chance, you have been living under a rock, I pity you as you have not experienced the masterpiece that is Twilight.
Twilight is directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the only female director to direct in the series. She paved the way for the remaining films and in my opinion, made the series what it is today. Without her vision captured within the first installment, I don’t think it would’ve been as big as it was and still is to this day.
One of the main things I love so much and is so great about this saga; I can definitely point out flaws within these films, but I think the cinematography is something they got so right. This comes out a lot in the first film and Catherine Hardwicke has her signature blue hue all over it. I think this is what makes the first one stand out from the others so much so that it could be a stand-alone film. It’s sort of misty and mysterious which sets the tone for the rest of the story and I think this is why it adds to the first film possibly being one of my favourites in the saga.
New Moon, the second in the series, was different in every aspect of cinematography. It didn’t have Catherine’s direction, which meant it lacked in the familiar, iconic, blue lens we Twi-hards came to know and love. It was stripped of everything we knew and was more clear, using a mix of dark earthy tones with orange as the main colour palette. These colours complimented each light setting and especially in the dark, depressing scenes in the sequel, which I thought was a perfect and subtle way to segue us into the coming films and the themes that arise.
Each film clearly as its own flare and main strong points, thanks to the variety of directors and cinematographers.
One of the main reasons why I love this saga so much is the soundtrack. You can say what you want about the writing, the characters, and the cast, but you have to admit… the soundtrack is good (thank you, godly music supervisors and Carter Burwell).
Twilight’s soundtrack was the epitome of the year 2008: it had Paramore’s hard-hitting Decode and I Caught Myself, Linkin Park’s Leave Out All the Rest, Blue Foundation’s Eyes On Fire and even used some of Robert Pattinson’s songs, namely Never Think and Let Me Sign.
I think the most iconic song from the Twilight soundtrack has to be Supermassive Black Hole by Muse. I wouldn’t be surprised if whenever a Twilight fan heard it, they had a picture in their head of the sultry Cullens running around playing baseball in a field on a stormy and thunderous day.
The New Moon soundtrack had a completely different feel to it. It is, and always will be my favourite. It has a huge range of different artists and most of the songs have a completely different feel from the others: perfect for the ever-changing mood of the film. The Violet Hour by Sea Wolf is a soft song played at Bella’s birthday at the Cullen house; a feeling that isn’t around for too long in the Twilight films. A Thousand Years by Christina Perri was the perfect song to end the series with. It had such a bittersweet sound to it and clearly showed the happy ending which truly summed up Edward and Bella’s love for each other.
Most of them are complex, albeit some of them aren’t written very well. The amazing cast brought them to life and gave them dimension. A lot of the people hating on Bella as a character probably never read or watched more than one book or movie to know she was way more than that.
Bella was empathetic and you could tell she was uncomfortable in many situations. She hated being the center of attention and did things she normally wouldn’t choose to do for the happiness of others. She didn’t want to move to Forks, but she did for the happiness of her mother so she could go on the road. She placed herself in danger for the secured safety of her family. She was also stubborn and she fought with Edward to see Jacob, even having the knowledge that Edward had the power to hurt both of them.
Rosalie is one of my favourite characters in the whole series. She was feminine, stood up for what she believed and as much as she didn’t like her, Rosalie never wanted Bella to end up how she ended up – not being able to live her human life to the fullest. She was motherly and protective, but also loved cars and knew how to fight just as well as the boys.
Alice and Esme were the most warm and compassionate. Alice treated Bella like a sister from the moment they met, used her power to check on Bella and used it to help Edward save Bella from other vampires. Esme went above and beyond trying to make Bella feel welcome in their home and treated her like family.
11 Years Later
Twilight paved the way for a new genre of fantasy for young readers and viewers. Vampires and werewolves didn’t have to be super scary and intimidating, they could be however you wanted them to be.
I think truly, the main reason why I still unapologetically love The Twilight Saga eleven years later is that it was so many other people’s childhoods including my own. It allowed fans to have an outlet to write their own things about the characters and to continue the story for themselves. It allowed us to be able to live in a fantasy world that we could add to whenever we wanted, if we wanted, in our own writing. It allowed us to discover new genres of movies and books we may never have heard of before.
The Twilight Saga may not be perfect but it has its great moments. It’s nostalgia. It’s so iconic. It’s fun. Everybody should (unapologetically) love The Twilight Saga. Who cares!