Story

Eclipse is the third movie in the Twilight series. It begins with a teenage boy, Riley (Xavier Samuel), being chased through the streets of Seattle by an unseen supernatural attacker. The attacker hurls Riley to the ground and bites him on the hand. The movie then cuts to the town of Forks. Here teenager Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and teenage vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) are having a romantic afternoon in the countryside, oblivious to the rest of the world.

But all is not well in the rest of the world. In Seattle, people are going missing. There are reports of gruesome murders supposedly committed by a deranged serial killer. Closer to Forks, Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) – a vampire seeking revenge against Edward for the death of her mate – is found lurking in the woods. She is chased off by the Cullen family and a pack of werewolves. To complicated things even more, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), a teenage werewolf, is also in love with Bella. The already fragile alliance between vampire and werewolf is stretched to the limit as Jacob and Edward compete for Bella’s love.

Vampire Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) has a vision about the cause of the terrible events in Seattle. Victoria has created an army of vampires or ‘newborns’, now led by Riley. Their sole purpose is to kill Bella. Unable to protect Bella by themselves, the Cullens seek assistance from the werewolves. Both vampires and werewolves work together to protect Bella as events build towards a final battle.

Themes

Teenage relationships; the supernatural; vampires; werewolves; self-sacrifice

Violence

Eclipse is the most violent and dark of the three Twilight movies. It contains intense sequences of action violence that include violence against children, an inferred rape scene, vampires engaged in blood frenzies, and an extended brutal battle between two groups of supernatural beings. For example:

  • A shadowy vampire chases a frightened teenage boy through the streets. The vampire knocks the boy over, throws him against a wall, and bites him on the hand. The bite marks are visible. The boy lies on the ground, arching his back and screaming in pain.
  • A radio news report talks about people in Seattle living in fear. The report says a series of murders is being blamed on a crazed killer.
  • Jacob tells Bella that it is better for her to be dead than a vampire.
  • A voice-over tells us about a historical vampire attack on an Indian village. Flashback images show a male vampire standing over the dead bodies of a woman and child that he has killed. Werewolves protect the village and kill the male vampire. A female vampire, the male vampire’s mate, seeks revenge against the Indians by attacking their village. A werewolf attacks her, and she tries to rip the werewolf’s jaws apart. An Indian woman stabs herself in the stomach to distract the vampire from killing the werewolf. The werewolf attacks the female vampire, biting her on the neck.
  • A large group of vampires rampages through the streets of Seattle. Several of them drink blood from the throat of a victim lying on the ground. One vampire kills another vampire by putting his fist through the vampire’s head, the head shattering like glass. A car turned upside down on the street has several people lying near it. Vampires drink blood from their necks while the people scream.
  • Jacob grabs Bella and forces her to kiss him. In response, Bella punches Jacob in the face, injuring her hand in the process.
  • Rosalie Hale approaches a group of drunk men who make lewd remarks to her. One of the men handles Rosalie roughly, forcibly kisses her, and throws her to the ground. At the end of the scene, it seems that Rosalie has been raped. We hear how Carlisle Cullen found her in a pool of blood, saw that she was dying, and saved her by turning her into a vampire. Rosalie takes revenge against the men who raped her by killing them one by one, leaving the ringleader until last. We see him in a hotel room guarded by police. Rosalie enters the room dressed as a bride and approaches the man, who is cowering on the floor. He screams, but we don’t see any violence.
  • Jasper shows Bella the scars of numerous bite marks on his arms. He tells Bella how an older female vampire made him kill vampire children in the past. Flashback scenes show Jasper grabbing a young boy and twisting his head. We hear the sound of bones breaking.
  • Riley kicks a man across ground. He picks the screaming man up and holds him while a female vampire bites the man’s neck.
  • In the final battle between the vampire–werewolf alliance and the ‘newborn’ army, the two sides collide head on in a frenzied fight. During the fight, characters punch their hands through vampire heads, which shatter like glass. They smash vampire heads and limbs and break necks. Werewolves bite vampire arms, legs and necks. A vampire crushes werewolf Jacob, who changes into his human form and lies on the ground writhing in pain. The bones in the left side of his body have been shattered. Later Jacob screams in pain as he has his bones rebroken and set straight.
  • The lone newborn survivor is a 12-year-old girl who surrenders. She is killed by a member of the vampire police, who picks her up in a crushing grip and throws her. The scene finishes before we actually see the young girl killed.
  • During a fight to the death between Edward, Victoria, Riley and a werewolf, the werewolf grabs Riley’s arm in its jaws and bites his hand off. Only a stump remains, and Riley screams in pain. Riley hurls the werewolf against a rock, and he yelps in pain. Later the same werewolf grabs Riley by the neck and drags him off.
  • Riley and Victoria grab Edward and try to rip him apart. To distract Riley, Bella picks up a sharp stone and cuts her arm. Blood trickles down her arm.
  • Edward hurls Victoria through the air and bites her head off. We see images (lasting several seconds) of Victoria’s head lying on the ground with staring eyes. Edward throws a cigarette lighter on to Victoria’s body, which explodes in flames.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight. For example:

  • The werewolves are the size of horses. In the battle, they look like real-life wolves.
  • Younger children might be particularly disturbed by the images of Victoria’s head lying on the ground, as well as Riley’s severed hand.
  • The movie has three scenes that show the deaths of children. Jasper breaks the neck of a young boy vampire. A young girl vampire is attacked and killed (although her death isn’t shown). Flashback scenes show a vampire standing over the dead bodies of a mother and her young child.

From 8-13

Children in this age group could also be disturbed by the scenes described above, particularly the deaths of children.

Over 13

Younger children in this age group could also be disturbed by some of the scenes described above.

Sexual references

This movie contains some sexual references. For example:

  • Edward asks Bella to marry him. Bella refuses. She jokes that girls her age usually get married only if they are ‘knocked up’.
  • A group of intoxicated men makes lewd remarks to a woman. They say it’s hard to tell what she’s like with all her clothes on.
  • Bella asks her father if marriage is valuable. Bella’s father says that Bella shouldn’t have to get married just because she’s not ‘being careful’ (that is, because she’s pregnant). He asks whether she and Edward are taking precautions. Bella tells her father that she’s still a virgin.
  • Bella implies that she wants to have sex with Edward. But Edward indicates that it would be too dangerous. Bella tells Edward that if he has sex with her, she will marry him. She asks him to try.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie contains some use of substances. For example:

  • Bella’s father drinks a can of beer.
  • A group of men hold and drink bottles of beer. They behave in an abusive and drunk way.
  • Carlisle Cullen says that he has given morphine to Jacob and will return to put in a morphine drip.

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie contains some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • A bare-chested Jacob lies down next to Bella, who is freezing. He cuddles her to warm her up. Jacob says to Edward, ‘Let’s face it – I’m hotter than you’. Then he jokingly says to Bella, ‘You’ll warm up faster if you take your clothes off’.
  • There are several scenes of Bella and Edward kissing each other passionately on the lips. In one scene, they lie on a bed kissing. Bella undoes the buttons on Edward’s shirt. They rub their hands up and down each other’s bodies. Before things go any further, Edward stands up and does up his buttons.
  • Edward presents Bella with a ring that was his mother’s. He asks Bella to marry him. Bella accepts.
  • Jacob pulls Bella close to him and forces her to kiss him on the lips.
  • Victoria kisses Riley passionately on the lips, pulling on his lips with her teeth.
  • Bella asks Jacob to kiss her. They kiss each other passionately.

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

This movie contains some occasional low-level coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Eclipse is a fantasy romantic drama targeting teenage girls. It is also likely to appeal to fans of the previous Twilight movies. It contains darker themes, more romance, and a higher level of action violence than the earlier movies. It is certainly not recommended for younger teens.

Self-sacrifice is a strong theme in this movie. But not all the messages about self-sacrifice are positive. For example:

  • Bella is willing to give up everything for Edward, including her life. You might want to talk with your teenage daughters about the self-destructive nature of Bella’s choices.
  • Both Edward and Jacob are willing to sacrifice their lives to protect Bella.
  • Jacob is willing to make these sacrifices for Bella even knowing that she has chosen Edward.
  • Edward is willing to sacrifice his personal happiness to prevent Bella from becoming a vampire.

Other messages in the movie that you could discuss with your children include the following:

  • Opposing forces can work together when they have a common goal.
  • It’s important to make the right choices because all choices have consequences.

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