To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the first installment of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire romance series coming to the big screen Twilight was re-released for a limited engagement showing—and I was there with bells on. Like a lot of women my age, Twilight was my life an entire decade ago. I had the shirts, the soundtracks, the books, the limited edition Cullen family jewelry sets. I was a “Twihard,” loud and proud. So when one of the Twilight Facebook pages I still follow (a nostalgic relic from my youth, I swear) advertised to me that Twilight would be returning to the very theater I saw it in for the first time, I got my ticket on the spot.
The Twilight franchise has caught a lot of flak over the years and while I’ll be the first to admit that none of them are perfect, but I’ll also defend them to my last breath. Are the acting or writing or special effects perfect? No, of course not. Is it visually stunning, do the soundtracks hold the test of time, and did it introduce us to Anna Kendrick? You bet it did! I love these movies for every reason that people love to hate them. At times they’re awkward and things don’t line up, but isn’t that exactly what falling in love for the first time and being a teenager is like? Twilight is a guilty pleasure that I bare like a badge of honor. Getting to see everything like it was the first time just solidified my love for this problematic, campy, and perfect franchise.
While the viewing didn’t happen on the actual anniversary—Twilight premiered on November 21st, the event happened in late October—the people behind the hit gave fans a little treat before the movie came on. The dreamiest mood altering vampire, Jasper Cullen (Jackson Rathbone) and the director of Twilight, Catherine Hardwicke, went on a mini Twilight tour. Fans got to see the locations for Forks High School, the café Charlie went to for steak and cobbler every Thursday, the Cullen household, and even a few of the trails and fields where the Cullen’s played baseball and Edward revealed all of his secrets to Bella. They talked about inside jokes the cast shared and flashed behind the scenes moments across the screen. They also hooked the audience up with a beautiful commemorative poster, which may or may not be hanging in my home as I type…
Of course, I’ve watched the Twilight movies in the last ten years, they are near and dear to me. It was a certain sweet kind of nostalgia to see Bella’s well-worn orange truck, Edward Cullen walk into that cafeteria and witness the Lion falling in love with the Lamb. I remembered why I thought Bella and Edward were the end-all-be-all of the romances back in the day. Anyone who went to a midnight premier during the peak of Twilight will tell you that being in the crowd was a huge part of the experience. While this viewing didn’t draw quite as large an audience, those who were in attendance did not disappoint. They mouthed the lines along with the actors, cheered or booed when certain characters graced the screen and turned up in their best vintage Twilight attire. I myself donned my classic black zip up with “Twilight” across the chest and an iconic line scrawled on the back: “I dream about being with you forever.”
But getting to experience it again on the silver screen warmed my heart in a way that I was expecting. While in the theater, I realized quite a few things—chief among them was the fact that this was my fourteenth time seeing Twilight on the big screen. But I also remembered seeing this movie with so many friends that I haven’t spoken to in years and all of the fond memories that I created because of this franchise. I got to relive having Edward Cullen as the background on my first cell phone and my budding love for the music of Paramore and spending hours and hours cutting out pictures from magazines for Twilight locker collages for me and my friends. For a long time, these books and movies were the best part of my life. I wouldn’t trade my adolescent obsession for much of anything.
Seeing Twilight again like it was the first time gave me the chance to go back in time. Back to when I was filling journal after journal with stories and playing nothing but the Twilight soundtrack on a shuffling loop on my bulky iPod. When I was “the Twilight girl” in school and that gave me a place of honor among the rest of the girls in my class. This anniversary filled me up with a special kind love and nostalgia that I didn’t know I had for something that now seems like it happened yesterday. I genuinely hope that I get to revisit my past again next year for the New Moon anniversary, even though I am staunchly still Team Edward.