High Point University

Experiencing the ‘Twilight’ saga as a young teenager

By Ally Ortolani

Opinion Editor


There are three types of people who care about the “Twilight” saga: Those who lined up to watch the midnight premieres because they genuinely liked the movies, those who think the movies are complete, utter garbage and those who find enjoyment in the comically bad saga.

Allow me to give a brief summary of the infamous saga for those who aren’t familiar. Possible spoilers ahead.

It all begins with Bella Swan, a girl who moves to the sleepy town of Forks, Washington, from the sunny state of Arizona to live with her father, Charlie. Bella meets the mysterious Edward Cullen, falls in love and even makes a few friends.

Here’s the catch: Cullen is a vampire—cue the hyperventilating teenage girls. By that, I mean my 13-year-old self. 

In the simplest of terms, Swan and Cullen are highly problematic. One reason being that Cullen is actually 117 years old; he is just frozen in his 17-year-old body after he was turned into a vampire. Creepy, I know.

The Cullen family, from my 13-year-old perspective, appeared to be an objectively attractive family. I wished I was a part of the infamous Cullen family at one point. Embarrassing, for sure. At that time, I thought they dressed well and looked put together.

Looking back on the movies, they
resembled an off-brand Kardashian family, and that’s putting it nicely. It gets even weirder than that. 

All of the Cullen family members, similar to Edward, have been frozen in their current ages since they were “turned” into vampires. Additionally, they have lived in Forks for years but have to convince other citizens that they are true to their ages.

A word to “Twilight” saga author Stephanie Meyers: Was that supposed to be considered a good storyline?

I mean, wouldn’t you get bored of being 17 years old forever? Cullen isn’t even considered a legal adult and has to live in his teenage years for as long as he shall live, which is forever in vampire terms.

Yes, there is drama in the “Twilight” saga, almost too much of it. May I remind you about the inherent beef between Cullen and the infamous werewolf, Jacob Black? The Cullen, Swan and Black love triangle is quite melodramatic. I was “Team Edward.”

To save you time from watching and/or reading the entire saga, Cullen and Swan have to fend off any peril that comes hurdling at them. In their case, “peril” is the equivalent of “evil” vampires.

Most teenagers deal with probably normal teenage issues. However, Swan and Cullen deal with the Volturi, a large, powerful, “evil” group of vampires that serve as the main antagonists of the “Twilight” saga.

Many of the films have many negative reviews. Some are harsher than others.

“The writing falls somewhere between amateurish and leaden,” said E! Network’s Leslie Gornstein in a November 2012 article. “The heroine is a gawping, blank slate of a doormat who doesn’t mind that her boyfriend spies on her in her sleep.”

Certainly, there is more to the story than just vampires killing vampires. In my opinion, however, the movies and books are repetitive, boring and really undeserving of any literary award.

While there are obvious differences between the novels and the movie saga, it’s hard to argue that the movie franchise is worthy of an Oscar. I’m sure if you were to ask 13-year-old Ally, she would tell you that it was worthy of an Oscar for Best Picture. 22-year-old Ally would laugh and reference a Wes Anderson or Stanley Kubrick film. 

The “Twilight” saga, in reference to its films and its novels, are simultaneously amazing and horrendous. As a teenager, I owned every book in hardcover and watched every movie. I had two consecutive “Twilight”-themed birthday parties. 

However, upon recently rewatching the “Twilight” saga, I realized my extreme infatuation for the movies stemmed from just being a teenager that was obsessed with sappy romantic novels—if “Twilight” is even considered to be part of that genre.

 I will forever ruthlessly criticize the “Twilight” saga, but I love it so much.