In 2018, the Twilight Saga celebrated its 10th anniversary with typical division. The same people who rolled their eyes back in 2008 rolled their eyes again. Those swept up in the supernatural romance had wisely reconsidered the Bella-Edward-Jacob love triangle over the years, but still held the franchise dearly. All one had to do was look at the memes to know Twilight was still A Big Thing, as underestimated and weird as ever.
And this week, Netflix proved how essential the series is to an audience of a certain age yet again. After adding the five Twilight films to the platform on Friday, all five immediately cracked the Netflix’s top 10 most-watched list.
While the past week saw a handful of new releases, including the star-studded action movie Gunpowder Milkshake, new seasons of Atypical and Never Have I Ever, a documentary on tennis star Naomi Osaka, and Fear Street Part Three: 1666, the final installment of the streamer’s horror trilogy, the real stars of this month of Netflix turned out to be the chapters of the Twilight Saga, which broke in with the strength of a shirtless, six-packed werewolf. As it currently stands, Twilight (2008) is in third, New Moon (2009) is in sixth, Eclipse (2010) is seventh, Breaking Dawn: Part 1 (2011) is eighth, and Breaking Dawn: Part 2 (2012) is 10th.
And now for a passionate defense, for anyone who needs convincing: There are quality Twilight movies. The lower-budgeted original, directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen) is earnest, corny YA romance that works because Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner are legit and commit to the bit. New Moon, directed by Chris Weitz (About a Boy), and Eclipse, from David Slade (Hard Candy) take risks that don’t pay off, and they’re ... mostly dour bad times at the movies. But then, a twist: Director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) steps in for the Breaking Dawn movies and everything changes — Part 1 and Part 2 are macabre, flamboyant, and bloody fun. Anyone who doubts the cinematic validity of the Twilight Saga needs to seek out those two movies immediately, and atone for their judging-books-by-their-dreamy-romance-cover sins.
And now those people can. The Twilight movies are on Netflix for the foreseeable future, a reminder that, for all the billions thrown at original programming in this content-heavy era, all it took was a vampiric love story with an offbeat personality to enrapture audiences for more than a decade.