5 Things That Hit Different Watching the 'Twilight' Movies as an Adult

 

It’s 2020 and I simply will not hear the slander any longer. The Twilight movies are GOOD. I may be coming in with a little bit of a bias, as I grew up reading these books (picture fourth-grade Reegan flipping through New Moon during independent reading time), but something about this saga just hits me in a way that I can’t describe. I mean, hell, I even threw an entirely Twilight-themed birthday party and dressed up as Jane from the Volturi.

picture of me at birthday party

So yeah, maybe I am a little biased. However, I truly believe from the bottom of my heart that these movies do not deserve the flack they always seem to receive. Having just finished my rewatch of the entire saga, I realized so many things as a 20-year-old that I was utterly blind to as a preteen. Although I owe this saga a parental credit for practically raising me, there are so many elements of the story and the films themselves that simply didn’t resonate until I was older.

Here’s five things that hit different while watching the Twilight movies as an adult.

  1. 1. The Soundtracks

    I am the way that I am because Twilight introduced me to "Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse at age 10. Dude, I can’t even begin to tell you how hard the music in these movies go. Whether it’s the soundtrack or a piece of score, it’s all absolute fire. Nobody can deny the classic low-bass and ominous allure of “Eyes on Fire” by Blue Foundation, the punk rock passion of “Decode” by Paramore or the hypnotic beat of “15 Step” by Radiohead. And that’s only on the first soundtrack. The music in these films create a feeling that is so distinctly their own and every movie has so many bangers to offer. I’ll leave links to some great playlists so you can culture yourselves on some of the best music to come out in the past decade. You’re welcome.

    https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7pw2MeFyXdJB0MZpkjI0Ot?si=wOpxGAMVT6y_BrUGa0sFMw

    https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7c2lzo7L7S8YhI1Qi44wUh?si=uyy0_ylnT0Slr1tEA_DKCw

  2. 2. The Romance

    I can probably chalk this one up to me being prepubescent during my initial exposure to the story, but I can’t begin to explain how eye-opening the romance was to me this time around. Let’s start with the love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob. Let me preface this by saying that I have and always will be a dedicated soldier to Team Edward. However, I cannot deny the fact that Jacob made some points along the way. I love how this love triangle develops because it's rather realistic in my opinion and opens the conversation about what the heart wants vs what’s best for you. Was Jacob probably a better option for Bella? Sure. Life with him probably would have been less complicated. But I love how Twilight focuses on how what's best for you may not always be what fulfills you. From the beginning, it was always Edward for Bella. They were soulmates and nothing could change that. But that doesn’t mean that she didn’t also love and care for Jacob oh so deeply. I think coming in with an adult perspective, you can really appreciate the complexity of love that the series isn’t afraid to explore. Something that I could say to sum up what this story makes me feel about love is hopeful. Hopeful that maybe somewhere, in a galaxy far-far away from the world of Tinder and college parties, there really is someone made for me. An immortal love where we carry out our existence as diamond-encrusted bloodsuckers with our loch ness-monster-nicknamed child? Maybe not. But it does make me feel a bit better about this cold spinning disk we live on. Seeing a romance such as Edward and Bella’s, a love so true and so deep, although fictional, is like an antidote for my cynicism. I often get so caught up in the memory of failed past relationships and momentary loneliness, but when I watch these movies, I really believe that just maybe, someone out there is waiting for me and all I have to do is let destiny take the wheel. And you mean to tell me that doesn’t make you feel a little better to be alive? Get real.

  3. 3. Bella’s Depression in New Moon

    This one is a little heavier, but probably one of my most important realizations. In New Moon, Edward leaves Bella unexpectedly as he believes that his presence in her life is hurting her more than helping her. Bella understably takes this news extremely hard and falls into a deep depression. As a preteen, I remember I hated reading this part of the book because I just wished Bella would “get over it’ and quit “whining”. However, now being an adult who has also gone through depression induced by a break-up, I empathize with Bella like I never could before. There is one scene in the movie that absolutely haunted me watching it back at this age — where Bella sits in a chair in front of a window as the camera circles around her and the names of the passing months appear on screen. I think this shot was so brilliant and so honest to what depression feels like to some, including myself. It just felt like time was passing, but nothing was changing. Life was happening, but I wasn’t living. I am grateful to not have had to understand the intricacies of what it feels like to have depression when I was reading the series as a child, but it's also freeing to be on the other side as an adult and able to resonate with Bella’s struggle.

  4. 4. The Cinematography of Twilight

    Twilight was made like an indie movie and it shows in the best of ways. It was only after the success of this film that its sequels had to adjust to the series’ wide-scale popularity and increase its budget. Do I wish that they all were directed by Catherine Hardwicke and maintained their low-budget feel? Maybe. But that’s what makes the original so iconic. Twilight looks beautiful — pointblank, period. Its muted, cool-toned color palette, painting every frame in an icy blue hue immediately transports you to the gloomy word of Forks, Washington. Its excellent use of slow-mo, close-ups and landscape shots is so anti-blockbuster and even artsy at times. This seems like a movie that would work beautifully as a running slideshow because it’s just so nice to look at. When I become CEO of the Academy, I promise to rectify Twighlight's Best Cinematography snub, you have my word.

  5. 5. The Acting

    I know the performances that these movies hold have left much to be desired from the general public, but I seriously beg to differ. As a child, I must admit that I was also on the “Kristen Stewart can’t emote for her life” train, but that route ended for me quite some time ago. These days, Kristen Stewart is one of my absolute favorite actresses for a myriad of reasons, but re-watching the Twilight movies really solidified her performance of Bella for me. Everyone complained that her performance was unbearably underwhelming. I personally think it was genius in the sense that it was so true to Bella’s written character. Bella is supposed to be this painfully awkward, supremely average girl. The whole point was for her to be someone that usually would fall invisible to the eyes of the masses so the fact that the Edward Cullen took a liking to her was a big deal and said something about their inherent connection. And it’s not just Kristen that turns in a fantastic performance. Robert Pattinson, arguably one of the most talented actors in the industry right now and the future greatest Batman the world has ever known, displays a level of restraint in Edward’s character that dazzles me every time I watch. I feel like he understands Edward’s mind and every action he makes feels intentional because of it. Taylor Lautner also plays the boyish and often bratty Jacob Black with ease. Smaller characters such as The Cullens all have unique and well-developed portrayals. Once again, I will rectify these acting snubs, I swear I will.

People who don’t like these movies simply don’t know how to have FUN. They may be stupid at some points (SGI baby, I’m looking at you), but they’re my stupid. They’ve been my stupid since I was 10 years old and they’ll continue to be my stupid until the end of time. Twihards unite!