Why is Twilight so popular?

Five Twilight fans explain the appeal of the pop culture phenomenon

The success of the ‘Twilight’ films is baffling to some. They attract average reviews (at best) from critics who are, almost exclusively, middle-aged men. The final instalment, ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2’ will likely be no different.

Yet despite the detractors, ‘Twilight’ is a pop culture phenomenon, a franchise that attracts almost unhealthy devotion from millions of fans - from bespoke bedrooms and sleeping rough for days to incredible tattoos. It’s also made loads of cash and more importantly, bought happiness to millions.

To those who don’t ‘get it’, the question is why?  Five ‘Twilight’ fans explained the attraction to Yahoo! Movies.

"It's forbidden and exciting" - by Maria Albertsen 

Why do you like ‘Twilight’?
It does evoke some feelings in me that I don't understand; such as wanting to date a vampire. It's not rational and nothing else does that to me. I think it brings a lot of fantasies together that women don't often admit to or speak about. Deep down, maybe I want to be controlled, explore the dark side of life and have two such good looking men fight over you! It's so risky and provokes feelings that everyday life doesn't. It's forbidden and exciting which makes it so attractive and sensual.

What's better: the films or the books?
I think the films are better than the books as they are so beautiful to watch. You are almost enticed and invited 'into' the movie and end up wanting to be a part of it. Plus Edward and Jacob are just so handsome, Jacob more so, in my opinion, but that's probably because he is safer and warm!

How do you feel about the films ending?
I'm actually a little relieved that the films are ending as when they are released they take over my life. I'll spend time daydreaming about the film and being Bella when I could be doing something much more productive with my time. Although I am so excited about the final film.

"It's the ultimate teenage dream" - by Hema Rishi
 
Why do you like 'Twilight'?
Every now and again a film franchise that comes along that really captures the imagination. The ‘Twilight’ movies do just that - good looking vampires have always been popular so the dashing Edward Cullen was always going to be a big hit! I found myself falling in love with the romance between Bella and Edward.

Why do you think it's so popular?
It's based around the teenage Bella Swan, who is a normal girl dealing with some tough issues; her parents have divorced and her mother has remarried. Bella has found herself shipped from one parent to the other- and then to top all of that off she starts at a new school! It's all pretty awkward until she catches the eye of the hottest guy in school. Edward Cullen is notorious for being gorgeous but unobtainable and soon Bella is the envy of every girl at Forks High. Edward only has Vampire eyes for Bella; he is completely besotted with her and will not leave her alone. Bella has the two men fighting over her. It's the ultimate teenage dream that anyone can relate to.

What's better: the films or the books?
I have read the books and loved the detailed character descriptions. Stephanie Meyer is an expert at taking us into the fantastical world of ‘Twilight’. While the movies have great special effects, I will always have a real soft spot for the ‘Twilight’ books, even if you have seen the movies I'd so recommend the books to everyone.

How do you feel about the films ending?
The end of Breaking Dawn is explosive and I seriously cannot wait to see the movie!

"The movies keep getting better" - by Jess Ratty

Why do you like ‘Twilight’?
I am mildly infatuated with the actors and even find myself following their celebrity movements. I’m not normally a celeb watcher but I seem to have contracted some kind of vampire disease.

Why do you think it's so popular?
I once read somewhere that vampire stories always become popular in a recession - not sure how true that is but I think it appeals to a broad audience. I love it because it is easy to watch, compelling and brilliantly filmed. The movies got better the more established they got.

What's better: the films or the books?
The BOOKS! In books it is all about what you imagine, how you feel and where the story takes you in your mind. A film is different - it limits your imagination a little bit and gives you less freedom to explore the author’s intent.

How do you feel about the films ending?
Sad. I want them to continue. They are so easy to read, to watch and to follow - I think there will be a little bit of a hole inside after the final movie ends.

"I admire the actors" - by Amy Boon

Why do you like ‘Twilight’?
I've loved The ‘Twilight’ Saga for a long time now but I've never really known why I loved it so much. I never imagined myself as Bella, I didn't relate to the characters. How could I? They're 'dead'.

Why do you think it's so popular?
I think the books and films are so popular because we all love to read a good fantasy. Who would've thought a girl in a dreary town would find herself in a world full of Vampires and Shape Shifters?

What's better: the films or the books?
The books and the films are so different from one another; I love the books, because I fell in love with them first. I love the films for the people behind the characters, to see the moments from the books brought to life by people I've come to admire.

How do you feel about the films ending?
With the films ending I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do with myself. I've spent a lot of the last few years since the production of the first movies conversing with fans around the world about the releases and helping out on blogs and fan sites about the movies. Although I don't think the interest in the saga will completely die down, there won't be anything new to look at.

"It makes you wish it was real" - by Shehnaz Khan

Why do you like ‘Twilight’?
I think ‘Twilight’ gets criticised a lot more than it should be, it's a great read. I like how unexpected and enthralling the storylines are, it’s so unpredictable - you're always left anticipating the next scene. I found it hard to put down and finished the entire series in less than a week. It’s also the ultimate soap-opera, there's always some sort of drama!

Why do you think it's so popular?
‘Twilight’ is one of those series which makes people wish it was real. Just like ‘Harry Potter’, with its use of magic and witches and wizards. Its roots in fanfiction also add to its popularity. Fanfics are hugely popular with teenagers and inspired author Stephanie Meyer. I think teenage girls in particular can identify with ‘Twilight’, as Edward is often seen as perfect and like Bella, every average girl wants to find their prince. Also, I think the idea of a "love triangle" has made the series popular, which teenage girl doesn't find the idea of two attractive guys vying for their affections appealing?

What's better: the films or the books?
I actually think the films are better than the books. The books are amazing, and have so much more detail than the movies - but I prefer the movies because you can finally put a face and a voice to the characters in the book. You no longer have to rely on your imagination. It's like everything you've read comes to life.

How do you feel about the films ending?
Obviously, I feel sad that the films are ending, but "all good things must come to an end" right? I'm happy I got to see one of my most favourite book series turned into a successful movie franchise and that I finally got to see the stories on the big screen.

'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2' is released in the UK on 16 November.