“Twilight” on the silver screen: the silliness within the serious


Photo provided by: Summit Entertainment

In lieu of a real infant, in “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2”, production opted for the use of a baby doll to play Bella and Edward’s daughter Renesmee, which was then replaced with CGI. Cleverly, on Twilight’s official Instagram page, this image was captioned “no halloween costume will ever be scarier than this”, a self-aware nod to the fandom’s overflowing agreement that the doll is shockingly creepy and ugly.

Avery Ranum, Editor-in-Chief

Twilight, starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, follows Bella Swan (Stewart) as she falls for the mysterious Edward Cullen (Pattinson) and is consequently plunged into the world of vampires and werewolves. Despite the influence of such supernatural elements, the Twilight Saga is a romantic tale that took the 2000s and early 2010s by storm, both when it was first released as a book series and then on the big screen. Although at the time of its release I was far too young to indulge in such films, upon watching the movies in around 2017, I became enthralled with the series, not just for its supernatural love story but for its unintentional quirks. 

What anyone who has seen the film series can tell you is that the tone of the movies is not inherently comical. At its core, Twilight is filled with drama and angst as the characters are put into life-or-death situations; Bella and Edward must fight not only to protect their love but their friends, family and the town of Forks, Washington. However, it is the execution of these elements that get many fans, like myself, snickering upon viewing the films. To put it plainly, Edward is weird. It is clear that the character is meant to be a bit introverted and mysterious, but his tendencies reach a point where they are just awkward to watch. This is not entirely at the fault of Pattinson, but in scenes such as when Edward admits he has snuck into Bella’s room to watch her sleep, or when his attempts to give menacing glares fall short, it is hard not to laugh at the juxtaposition between a film that tries to be serious and these absurd moments. 

Twilight’s film adaptation has also come under fire for its more technological downfalls. The most notable of these was the reimaging of Renesmee, the daughter of Bella and Edward. CGI was used to make the child’s face resemble Stewart and Pattinson instead of opting for the use of a real baby. Anyone can tell that this digital face did not remotely look like a cute, little infant by any means. Instead, many agree that the baby’s face looks more grotesque than anything. While an odd technical decision, it is hilarious to watch, even more so as the character Jacob (Lautner) becomes questionably protective over the infant (who he seemingly falls in love with too but, I digress). 

It is easy to see how some of the traits within the Twilight film franchise can be perceived as flaws. I have read articles and heard the opinion of fans who claim that these cringeworthy moments do not pay homage to the original book series enough. Even though I am a fan who has not read the books, I still believe the films are quite praiseworthy. The somewhat goofy lines like “this is the skin of a killer Bella” and “Bella, where have you been, loca?” have been commemorated by fans on a slew of merchandise such as t-shirts, stickers, mugs and more. In true Twilight fan fashion, I own some of these items myself. In a way, comical moments bring in a new target audience. They make Twilight into a series that can be enjoyed by those who love vampire and werewolf love stories, as well as those who love to make fun of vampire and werewolf love stories. Of these groups, I find myself at a happy medium. 

Despite having been released for many years, Twilight is an absolute must-watch for anyone into the supernatural, romantic or comedy genres alike. Given its seemingly ridiculous moments and diehard fandom, it is easy for new viewers to be prepared for a poor watching experience. However, I can assure you this is not the case. Twilight has garnered so much popularity for a reason, and it is my hope that others will grow to love the franchise as much as I do.