Why the Twilight Series Deserves Another Look

There’s no denying that Twilight was a cultural phenomenon. The film adaptations of Stephenie Meyer’s Young Adult vampire romance novels were criticised for their over-the-top yet problematic romance, their lifeless main character (pun intended), Bella Swan, and, perhaps worst of all, vampires that sparkled. However, the films grossed over $3.4 billion worldwide showing that, despite all of the criticisms, it definitely wasn’t only die-hard Twilight fans who were watching them.

The books sold over $120 million copies worldwide and were on the New York Times Best-Selling Books list for over 235 weeks. The films only served to highlight the problems many had with the books, and with the awkward dialogue, lacklustre acting, and lack of any real action, they failed to improve or bring anything new to the story. But with commercial success like that, there’s no denying that Twilight had something that drew so many to it.

One of the main draws of the Twilight series was the vampires. Vampires and vampire lore have always intrigued us, and although the vampires in Twilight don’t possess many of the traits we’re familiar with like fangs, sleeping in coffins, and being sensitive to garlic, this is perhaps exactly why they’re so interesting. Stephenie Meyer did a good job of creating vampire lore that took itself seriously. Despite how many jokes were made about Twilight’s sparkly vampires, they’ve become a subgenre of vampire. They’re a different, more modern take that appeals to a younger audience more than, say, Dracula would.

Stephenie Meyer’s vampire lore has history, like the backstory of the immortal children and how they impacted vampire society and law. It has vampire rules that took lore we knew and overturned them, for example, her vampires don’t burn in the sunlight, they sparkle like diamonds, which, at a glance, could appear as if they’re bursting into flames.

Of course, the story is a romance but the vampire lore is far more intriguing. The Cullen backstories alone could spawn a whole new movie series. It would be great to see Jasper fighting newborn vampires, to see Rosalie getting revenge on her attackers, and to learn anything about Alice’s mysterious origins. Then there’s Edward Cullen himself. His early vampire life as a vigilante who only stalked and fed on the blood of criminals makes a far more interesting story than the one about him stalking and obsessing over a 17-year-old girl.

The Twilight series definitely deserves another look. A deeper look into the vampires.

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