The post-grad life is fun because I have found myself making lists, panicking about finding a job, and venting to my parents about anything and everything. I hate not having a job because I like to keep busy. In the last two months, I have heard several people tell me several times that I need to “chill.” Somehow in order to chill, I found myself re-watching a teen classic on Netflix: Twilight.
Flashback to young Madison as an elementary student ripping through the pages of the novel. When I was at my uncle’s house for the summer of 2008 in Chicago, he happily bought me the third book, Eclipse. I tore through the book so fast he bought me the last book, Breaking Dawn a couple days later. Thank you Uncle Stephen!
Fast forward to the movie premieres with my friends. Yes, I was one of those girls that went to the midnight premieres. I had no license, which meant after the movie my mom happily picked me up. Young Madison loved those movies. I had a Twilight poster of Edward and Bella hanging on my wall (over time it got covered by other more tasteful movie posters/celebrity posters). The bottom line is that I was a fan. I had arguments with friends about Team Edward v.s. Team Jacob. I was Team Jacob because Edward was cold and creepy.
Fast forward even more to 2017. Wow! The first movie came out in 2008. So it has been nine years since that movie came out. And let me just say… Twilight does not stand the test of time. That’s not entirely a bad thing and let me explain why.
I guess because I’m an “adult” now and there are so many cheesy moments, it just no longer appeals to me. Perhaps a sixth grader, who could look past the bad CGI that they are used to, watched Twilight would like it. I think only Kristen Stewart could only play Bella because I feel like she shares the same personality as her character: very kind but kind of awkward. This is the way I felt around 2008. The way bodies are sucked dry of blood and the special effects are not up to Michael Bay standards. I had a really hard time re-watching scenes like the “Say it, out loud” scene and the “Bella smells good” scene. I got second hand embarrassment. I knew those scenes were coming and quickly zoomed forward. I think it also had to do with the moody guitar and the suspenseful music that leads to a unsatisfactory climax (that’s what she said). If you need a refresher on what scenes I’m talking about check out the links.
Talking about music, I think this is another reason why Twilight does not fit with the 2017 lifestyle. The Twilight soundtrack has music by Muse, Paramore, and Linkin Park. These were all bands involved with the “emo” phase that happened around the same time Twilight came out. If you are not familiar with the “emo” phase it includes bands like My Chemical Romance and shopping at Hot Topic because you want to. If you want a low production explanation from OG YouTuber Ryan Higa (AKA: nigahiga) then you should check out this video. It was a lifestyle and I am definitely guilty of participating. Although Paramore has made a mainstream comeback, I haven’t heard much from Muse or Linkin Park. They are still good bands but personally, I associate them with the early 2000’s during a time no one understood me.
Cinematically, I have to hand it to the Director, Catherine Hardwicke. She does all these sweeping camera shots and close up shots that really make the movie seem intimate. If I ignore the story all together, she captures the fictional town of Forks pretty well. The general mise-en-scene is dark, gloomy, which matches what Washington is like and the whole Vampire vibe. I like how there is a solid color scheme of blues, grays, and dark greens. The different camera shots reminds me of some horror flicks like Carrie and the style of Sam Raimi (Director of A Simple Plan and the Evil Dead series). Although the horror camera work is a little more subtle, I think it is Hardwicke’s way of including the horror genre because the movie deals with vampires.
So yes, Twilight does not stand the test of time because, to put it simply, it was a different time. I think Twilight perfectly reflects how we were confused youths trying to figure out our emotions and deal with moodiness. Maybe I can still somehow relate to this movie in someway because I ended watching the whole thing didn’t I?