The Cullens—and their fellow vampires, whether friend or foe—may not age, but The Twilight Saga does. The first film of the series, released on November 21st, 2008, turns 15 this year!
It seems very fitting that, as I write this, the weather in my part of the U.S. is just like that of Forks, Washington: heavy rain, with plenty of fog. There might even be a blue-green haze coloring everything outside my window, but that could just be my Twihard imagination running wild.
Like most current-day Twihards, I came to the Twilight party a bit late. When Stephenie Meyer first published the series opener in 2005, I was too young to read it, and I had no interest in the movies that would follow. But after finishing my first year as a professional writing major in college, I finally sat down and started reading Twilight. By the end of the night, I was hooked.
It’s no secret that The Twilight Saga inspires a very passionate, dichotomous response. Either you love it with every bit of your heart, or you hate it with every inch of your soul. There is no in-between. If you find yourself in the latter category, it is worth re-watching at least the first movie, now that 15 years have passed since its release. Twilight is a romantic, fun, maybe even emo snapshot of first love between two teenagers in the early 2000s—with a supernatural twist, of course. If the characters do not draw you in, the clothes, the cell phones, and the incredible soundtrack will. Paramore, Linkin Park, and Muse, to name a few, help create Twilight’s atmosphere. (I listen to the album year-round, but it’s a particularly great listen during Spooky Season.)
Although some critics of Twilight have complained about the actors’ talent over the years, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have incredible chemistry. Just the way they look at each other is indicative of their ever-growing interest in and adoration for one another. They both do an excellent job of portraying their characters’ ages, as well. They’re only seventeen. Sure, Edward may have been seventeen for “…a while” before meeting Bella, but that does not mean he is mature when it comes to love. Many of the scenes that critics claim are awkward or full of stilted dialogue are awkward and full of stilted dialogue, because Edward and Bella are insecure, introverted teenagers discovering love for the first time. Some of the movie’s best (and most comedic) moments come from the characters’ realizations that they have phrased something poorly. Take Edward’s line about halfway through the movie, when he is explaining “vegetarian vampirism” to Bella: “It wouldn’t be like drinking your blood, for example!” Then he proceeds to make the face we all would make, had we said that to our new, human partner.
Although Bella is less prone to saying such embarrassing things to Edward, she is not immune to teenage awkwardness. Reading Twilight prior to seeing the movie helps a viewer understand that so much of Bella’s world is internal. She is a quiet, thoughtful bookworm who doesn’t often voice what she is thinking. That can be difficult to translate to the screen, yet Kristen Stewart does an excellent job of bringing Bella’s quirks and quiet personality to life.
In honor of Twilight’s 15th anniversary, Lionsgate will be releasing a collectible box set of all five movies in DVD, Blu-ray, and digital on October 17th. Bonus features include director commentary from the first film’s director, Catherine Hardwicke, as well as plenty of deleted and extended scenes from all five movies. The box set itself will have interchangeable cover art, allowing for a customizable cover. I know I’ll be celebrating the anniversary myself, marathoning The Twilight Saga while sipping from my blood-red Twilight straw, and wearing my Team Edward t-shirt.