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Can you believe it has been 10 years? 2018 marks the 10-year anniversary of the vampire saga loved and loathed by all. Twilight was a phenomenon. 10 years ago, everyone had read the books with that iconic apple cover, and were flocking to the movies to see it. I dragged my mom to the Regal Cinema in my local mall opening weekend. It was a time to be alive. Who can forget the sad way Bella couldn’t pour ketchup on her burger?
It’s strange looking back on it now. I mean, this was the franchise that gave us Kristen Stewart, who is now a bisexual icon, Anna Kendrick, who we all know and love, and then there's Christian Serratos who is now starring in The Walking Dead. The ladies of Twilight have moved on to do some incredible things. The movie was good to me at the time, and to a majority of my friends. My roommates now were also on the Twilight train. It’s so amazing to think about how widespread it was, and just as amazing how fast it fell. Then again, when your movies aren’t great and the entire romance/love triangle dynamic was actually very toxic, it isn’t a surprise that the franchise hasn’t aged well.
However, it’s hard to deny the impact of Twilight. It kickstarted the paranormal romance era, reignited a love of vampires, and encouraged kids to read. Now, I can re-watch it and enjoy all the fun, campy humor, and the overdramatic acting from a new perspective. I did so the other night with my roommates, and we had a great time.
Because of the widespread “so bad it’s good” love for Twilight that has gone on in recent years, I couldn’t help, but notice many things that others have also picked up on. From prolonged stares to an abundance of cringe-inducing teenage weirdness, there are some downright hilarious consistencies in this movie. I’ve taken the liberty of creating a tally chart, and painstakingly combed through the entire film to catch each instance of cliche-filled glory. I hope you all like math, because I did some calculations for all of these. Also, forgive me if there are one or two things I missed. I combed through this movie pretty thoroughly, so I’m sure everything is on point.
Some preliminary things to get out of the way. I clocked the movie run time without counting the opening and end credits. In total, I have the run time at 113 minutes and 44 seconds. When I calculate my averages and other stats, I base it off of that run time.
Now, back to it. Hold on tight, spider monkeys. Here comes some Twilight facts you didn’t know you needed in your life.
1. Bella Swan bites her lip a total of 51 times in this film.
This is the first of two character tics I call the angsty-teenage cliches. Bella’s character is super awkward, and she trips a lot (not really, five times) and we get a couple references as well to her being clumsy from friends, family, and herself. Basically, she’s the stereotype of that “I’m not like other girls” trope and has to have that apathetic vibe. Hence lip biting. It works for when she’s struggling to say the right thing, or those times where she just can’t get enough of looking at Edward’s beautiful face. 51 times is still excessive though. That comes to about one lip bite every two minutes and 22 seconds. It’s amazing how many times she does it. Sometimes there are multiple lip bites in succession. Bless her that she never got super chapped or bleeding lips. All kidding aside, that’s a ridiculous amount of lip biting for one character. Imagine if it was an even more noticeable thing, like playing with her hair or shooting an arm up toward the sky every two minutes.
2. Bella Swan has awkward pauses in her speech 62 times.
With even more frequency than the lip bites and more notoriety as well, this was a useful trope for the Twilight franchise. Partway through the movie I considered starting over and counting the amount of times Edward makes very strange pauses in his speech as well. This was probably meant to convey teenage angst and a quirky, offbeat appeal for the audiences who would be most likely to see Twilight. It works for comedic purposes, in hindsight. Who else loves that stuttering jumble of “You can’t leave me” at the end of the film when Bella’s in a hospital bed? Again, if we’re to go by the movie’s run time, that’s around one pause every 1.83 minutes. This isn’t even narrowing it down to just her screen time. I don’t know if that was the actor, director, or writer’s decision, but it was very strange. Sometimes I had trouble following a conversation. This also extends to the odd speech patterns in general throughout this film. One of my favorite moments is when Bella sees her father’s cop car and in a monotone voice asks, “What is going on?” It sounded weird, because you would just say something like “What’s going on,” but they really made her emphasize those words.
3. There are 41 slow motion shots.
I will defend Twilight and say their slow-mo use isn’t as offensive as 300. 300 has somewhere around half an hour of it’s run time as slow-mo and that always distracted me. This use is more notable for how funny it is. They loved slow-mo for those Bella/Edward moments, and of course, the baseball scene. Oh the iconic baseball scene. They went so heavy on the slow-mo because it was the easiest way to show something awesome or to stress something important. The Cullens enter? Slow-mo of their sexy selves sauntering into school. One of the vampires makes a wild jump, Slow-mo. In hindsight, these scenes feel ten times longer. The shot of Bella walking toward Edward to confront him about being a vampire feels like forever to watch it now. When I was younger, though, I thought it was the coolest most intense thing ever. I guess age changes you.
4. Dutch angles are used 71 times.
For those unfamiliar with the dutch angle, this is basically when the camera is tilted sideways, usually for dramatic effect. When I say dramatic effect, I mean it. Twilight went hard on this one. I almost turned my head sideways to watch the movie the entire time because that might have been easier. No, I exaggerate, but picture this; that’s one dutch angle every 1.6 minutes. Thor is another movie that uses this effect to death, and it’s just so distracting when used like this. It’s dramatic to see Bella have to break her dad’s heart to save him from vampires, but do you also need to use the same camera angle to show her driving to school? No. That’s wasteful. But it’s also fun to scream “DUTCH ANGLE” every time they use one. Funny for me, at least, my roommates may not appreciate it as much.
5. The “whoosh” sound effect for the vampires is used 48 times.
I didn’t even count them all. To finally address the baseball scene to its fullest potential, it is literally an orgy of slow-mo, dutch angles, and “whooshes.” It took me the longest to go through just to catch everything. Because of the high density of “whoosh” noises whenever one of the vampires even moved a muscle, I left out all the times Alice threw the ball, a couple of swings, and even some other throws. We get it. The vampires are fast and strong. I don’t need a super in your face “whoosh” every time they do something. To be fair, I love the baseball scene. It’s fun, and I wish it lasted more than about a minute. Statistically, this effect is heard about every two minutes and 36 seconds. Considering the vampire antics don’t start until almost half way through the movie, That’s an intense amount of “whoosh” noises.
6. James has 16 head tilts in his screen time.
16? That number is nothing compared to the rest of them? Consider this: James, the villainous vampire, has about three minutes and 20 seconds of screen time in total. Besides the gnarly guitar riffs that accompany his bad ass entrances and savagery, James is best categorized by his head tilts. This is literally one head tilt every 12 and a half seconds this man is on screen. I love it. James was such a bad boy. He had those kind of baggy, low-rise jeans, and wore no shirt under his jacket to cover his impressive (in a pre-Christ Hemsworth era) physique. Of course, how could you forget that long blonde hair? The head tilts always made me laugh though. They were some weird attempt to make him seem intimidating, like he was always sizing people up. In theory, to show how animalistic vampires can be, it works. In practice, they made him look too much like one of those incredibly angsty rock star types to drive it home. I’m just so impressed by how many head tilts this man does. For some reason, this statistic made me laugh the hardest.
7. I counted 105 panes of glass in the Cullen household.
An honorable mention here for the glass salad bowl Rosalie crushed so unnecessarily. The Cullens have an open concept house, to say the least. The filmmakers were probably going again for the animal nature in vampires having them be so connected to nature and the forest right outside their house. Seriously though, this is almost a glass house. From the incredible amount of windows to the glass staircase railings, I think we got the point that this is a modern, super nice, attractive family. The Cullens are the perfect family. The more glass they have, the better they are, I guess.
8. This movie has a total time of 21 minutes and 11 seconds of staring.
Yes, this is the one everyone acknowledges. Edward and Bella stare at each other, wordlessly, a lot. I mean seriously a lot. I counted how long they stared into each other’s eyes, which was 13 minutes and 29 seconds. Then there were the moments where one was staring at the other when the other wasn’t looking. That was seven minutes and 42 seconds. Overall, that comes to about 21 minutes and 11 seconds of movie time. To better illustrate this, I’ll put it this way: the amount of time these two spend staring at each other takes up about 18.6 percent of the film. Almost a fifth of this movie, with multiple characters and plots, is just stares between the main characters. This is nothing short of mind blowing to me. It’s like they have whole conversations with their eyes that the audience doesn’t see. It’s creepy, funny, and cringey all at the same time. I’ve never seen anything like it in any other movie.
Those are a couple of numbers I thought were interesting when talking about the enjoyment of Twilight. I’m sure you could even use some of these quirky instances for a drinking game, if you want to get completely wasted. Twilight is truly a masterpiece in its own right. There are scenes in there that you wouldn’t believe could make it in a blockbuster movie. There’s an incredibly iconic moment I mentioned in the beginning about Bella shaking a ketchup bottle back and forth half-heartedly, when the ketchup bottle in question is a squeeze bottle. Predictably, she gets no ketchup.
Another funny moment: when we see Edward's sparkly skin. I laugh so hard at, "This is the skin of a killer, Bella." Even as a 12-year-old, I never understood that. He sparkled. He had glittering skin. That's pretty, or at the very least cool. He's acting like he's super ugly, or some major appearance change went down. No, instead we get Robert Pattinson forcing out a line that sounds like he was struggling to deliver it in a believable way. Still, I adore watching it.
Something that gets me wildly hyped for some reason is doctor Carlisle’s entrance. The Cullen patriarch strolls into the emergency room looking for Bella, declaring with a smile, “I heard the Chief’s daughter was here.” To this day, I still get excited to see him, and I don’t quite know why.
To sum it up, I had a lot of fun with this movie, more than I can put into this article. It was great to watch it over three more times, even if I did stay up until one in the morning. Twilight was a phenomenon, and it would be disrespectful to forget these fun little tidbits that make the movie so hilariously enduring. Re-watch it for yourself to really enjoy those memories from ten long years ago.