I've heard the Twilight Series criticized by a lot of people, both secular and Christian. The concerns voiced by the secular crowd are weak stories and poor acting. I guess I can't really complain about the acting- I thought the actors did a fine job portraying their characters as they interpreted them. Not Oscar-Award-winning, but perfectly adequate. As far as the story goes, I thought that the beginning was pretty good. The idea of going to a new place and unraveling the mysteries surrounding a mysterious boy is, I'll admit, an exciting concept. I just think it would have been a lot cooler if he hadn't been a vampire. (But then, that's probably just me. Vampires aren't really my thing- and I'll explain why in a minute.)
The concerns the Christians have voiced mostly involve the fact that the story revolves around the existence of vampires and werewolves. They have much the same problem with Twilight as they do with Harry Potter- that the subject matter opens the door to witchcraft and devil worship. Personally, I do not think the story did this. I can't speak for the whole series, but at least in the first movie, vampires and werewolves are just that- nothing more than what they say they are. There is no higher power in that world. It's a fantasy setting, completely removed from the real world. There was nothing dark or icky about the world or story, it just was what it was. Keep in mind that fairies and mermaids and elves are all along the same lines as vampires and werewolves. It's just that fairies and elves don't (typically) suck your blood. ;)
There is some blood shown, and some fight scenes involving what I would call "Fantasy Violence"- i.e flying across the room and smashing through windows, etc.
There wasn't much swearing, but it was there. Nothing terrible though.
In a flashback scene, when Edward is recounting how he became a vampire, he is shown being bitten in the neck by another vampire, who later becomes his adoptive father, Carlisle. While Carlisle was merely trying to save his life by making him immortal, some people may find the image a bit frightening or disturbing. Anybody twelve an up ought to be able to handle it though.
Twilight is.... oh, how to say this.... overly dramatic. It's basically like High School Musical, only it's not very funny, and the vampires don't dance. They do, however, play baseball apparently.
Edward has this terrible habit of staring and glowering like a freak. He just acts very odd, and I personally could never find that attractive. Now, I know it's because he's extremely tempted by the scent of Bella's blood, and that his resisting the temptation is supposed to be the romantic part of the story. I suppose that's the draw for young girls: a character resisting his darker side for love. (That's the draw of any antihero ever. Think of Loki, or Anakin Skywalker!) But for me, I found Edward's spazzy behavior to be a bit off-putting. He's a nice enough guy... just not for me. ;)
And while we're talking about romance, I will mention that Bella and Edward are seen kissing, and at one point she is seen in a t-shirt and her underwear. Nothing indecent is shown, and they pull back before things go where they shouldn't.
I said a little while ago that I would explain why vampires aren't my thing. Well, here's why:
humans are a vampire's food. They almost can't resist the smell of us! So for a vampire fall in love with a human would be like me falling in love with a brownie, the smell of which I can hardly resist. If a brownie were molded into the shape of a guy, even a handsome one, I would still want to eat it. I would just cut it into pieces first to I wouldn't have to feel bad for it. No put that into perspective with Edward and Bella. She's the brownie! And that's just weird. Not horrible... just weird. But hey, if the guy wants to fall in love with his food, who am I to stop him?
Um.... let's see. The scenery is beautiful! I liked the way that Edward's family is so caring, even though most of his brothers and sisters are a bit freakish. I liked the way that they were so willing to protect Bella, even though they'd just met her. I did enjoy the beginning, when Bella was solving the mystery of Edward's true identity. (I just think it would have been cooler if he was an elf, or something. ;)
I thought it was funny that after everything that happened during the movie, Bella's dad is still giving her pepper spray to take with to prom. Not a bad idea, if you ask me.
In my humble opinion, Twilight is a very silly movie, but not harmful. There's nothing great about it, but there's also nothing bad about it. If one of my friends asked me to watch it with them, I wouldn't argue too much. (It's at least funny for me to laugh at Edward's trembling glare!)
Will I watch the rest of the movies? Probably not. I just can't take the "I love you-I hate you" drama.
Would I recommend this movie to my readers? Not really, but I wouldn't discourage you either. There's nothing wrong with it- it's just not my style. Not to mention I don't know if the later movies get darker of more violent as they go on. But since the rest of the series tells the story of a vampire war, I'm going to guess the answer is yes.
If you're set on watching the movie, then I would recommend it for about 13 and up. Some twelve-year-olds would be able to handle it, but it really depends on the parents' decision.
So there you have it! My review of Twilight. I hope this helps some of you who were on the fence about the whole thing.