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(2008), PG-13 [Very Lite R-13*] (1hr 56min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
March 25, 2009
March 28, 2009

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Christian Long Distance

(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2008), PG-13 [Very Lite R-13*] ... Bella is being displaced ... again. Maybe this time forever.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Goldcrest Pictures, Imprint Entertainment, Maverick Films, Summit Entertainment, Temple Hill Entertainment, Twilight Productions
Distribution (US): Summit Distribution
Director(s): Catherine Hardwicke
Producer(s): Marty Bowen. Wyck Godfrey, Michele Imperato, Jamie Marshall, Greg Mooradian, Mark Morgan, Guy Oseary, Karen Rosenfelt. Patrick Thomas Smith
Screenplay: Melissa Rosenberg
Novel: Stephenie Meyer
Cinematography/Camera: Elliot Davis
Music: Carter Burell
Film Editing: Nancy Richardson
Casting: Deborah Aquila, Jennifer L. Smith, Mary Tricia Wood
Art Direction: Christopher Brown, Ian Phillips
Viewed on Summit Entertainment DVD

This analysis was sponsored by the generosity of the congregation of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd and of E&HP.

With a final score of 54 out of 100, Twilight earned its place at the very top of the scoring range earned by R-rated features (54 and below out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. That score technically makes this film a R-13 but the highest R-13 possible, one point under the scoring range earned by PG-13 films (55 to 67 out of 100). What else can I say about the scoring? The scoring reflects content truly equivalent to many R-rated films but not as graphic or extreme as in many of them.

Seventeen year old Isabella 'Bella' Swan (Kristen Stewart) is being displaced ... again. Maybe this time forever.

Mom and Bella's new dad are off to Ft. Lauderdale for a week of spring training. Step dad is in the baseball minor leagues. Not feeling it beneficial for Bella to miss a week of school, mom and Bella's biological dad, Charlie (Billy Burke) think it best that Bella come to live with dad in Fork, Washington while mom and her new hubby traipse off to Ft. Lauderdale. Displaced from one corner of the contiguous United States to the other, Bella tries her best to make things work.

Bella's biological dad is the Chief of Police. That Bella's dad is a cop did not seem to get in the way of the story or plot but it was used as a story device to keep Bella and her dad apart for extended hours. This made it convenient for Bella to explore. And that she did ... explore ... life and death.

This touches on one of the problems I have with many of the "teen flicks" produced nowadays. The script places Bella and her boyfriend in grave situations requiring a level of experiential maturity not typically possessed by a teen. It makes the characters more "adult" than they should be or than they are typically capable. And since it is proven that movies often place behavioral templates in the arsenal of behavioral choices of the observer, an explosive mixture might result from such cinematic dissonance. And sometimes does. Sometimes fatally.

To expound on that earth-shaking, fist-raising statement I just made let me offer you the clinical findings of a couple other professionals shared with me personally. Drs. Karen Nelson, the head of the psychology department of a major university and Larry Gilliam, a practicing counselor both agree with me that due to inherently limited experiential maturity it would be unusual for even a 16 year old mind to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality or to be able to fully anticipate the consequences of his/her actions: that such skills do not typically plateau until the early 20s. This reality is cinematically demonstrated by such as the dissonant clash generated by Twilight by having the lead character Isabella (a role model) repeatedly indicate her preference of death over life -- indeed a rather flammably fueling concept to be bandying about in and as entertainment before victims of pubescent fires.

Once Bella established herself as a social entity at Forks High School, boy/girl games began. One boy that caught Bell's eye in particular was Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). Edward is odd on so many levels and Bella soon found out which levels, how many levels and why.

After a few high school social maneuvers Bella is able to penetrate Cullen's shields as he reluctantly starts to lower them. Now, Bella is welcome in Cullen's space ... dangerously welcome. Cullen is a vampire. His whole family are vampires. One is a medical doctor.

Though sworn to using animals as their food, Cullen is precariously dangling between his "natural instincts" and enjoying a platonic relationship with Bella. I say platonic but as with every PG-13 I've seen, there certainly were non-platonic contacts between Bella and Cullen. In her bed, on a secluded mountainside ...

Most of the footage is spent on Bella discovering and accepting Cullen's "choice of lifestyle." In a well-woven, potentially deceiving fabric of acceptance, Bella eventually becomes quite attached to Cullen's lifestyle, er, death-style and eventually comes to prefer it. All because of a "platonic" relationship. Once Bella has established herself as Cullen's girlfriend the atmosphere of the story becomes that of "family" against the world.

Part of that "world" included a group of three "bad guy" vampires out to do as their underworld lord: to steal, kill and destroy. [John 10:10] One day when the Cullens (all vampires) were playing the All-American game baseball (likely another writer's device to pad and buffer rocky acceptance of an otherwise unacceptable lifestyle) with Bella as a welcome member of the family, the evil vampires tried to take Bella from the "good" vampires [Isa. 5:20] for food. From there the story becomes one of the run-for-your-life and hero-to-the-rescue theme. This time the hero is not noble. Maybe if the writers added with baseball some apple pie and the girl next door......

All in all the film was intriguing and well written in story and connectivity between subplots. But ...

This is a film about the undead which climb out of their coffins to drink human blood; about vampires. Right there, with the undead climbing out of their graves, one can see the mockery of the Holy Resurrection. Indeed, Twilight is a example of being lost related to us in Zech. 10:2

Vampires. An evil and unholy breed of critters indeed, servant to the father of lies even if they in the real world who claim to be vampires deny it. If one does not serve God whether intentional one serves Satan. Satan does not really care when people who claim God does not exist also claim he does not exist. Satan does not care whether you worship him as long as you don't worship God because when one rejects God one embraces Satan. In the same vein, if one does not make a choice one makes a choice.

But this time the vampires do not boil off and shrivel in the sunlight, do not spend their days in their coffins and do not morph into some hideous biting beast at every full moon. Rather they twinkle like "diamonds" in the sunlight which is why they avoid the sun in this version lest they be discovered for what they really are -- blood-sucking killers as Cullen admits. Further, vampires are no longer killed by a wooden stake driven through the heart or a silver bullet. They are killed by dismemberment then burning the parts.

This film portrays a young girl calling the bad good by falling in love with one of them and calling him "beautiful." [Again Isa. 5:20] Even the antiChrist will be attractive and will have all the answers for all the world's troubles, but he will still be (or is?) the antiChrist who, as is his master, out to steal, to kill and to destroy. [Again John 10:10]

Don't get me wrong. I do not believe that vampires exist. Not even those who want to be. What I believe is that demons exists. Jesus cast them out of victims so they are indeed real. I have never met one face to face and probably never will since I am covered in the Blood, but that does not mean demons don't exist.

Now there is a rather non-empirical concept! I have never met a demon face to face so they must not exist. [pause] Such is the brand of thinking many suffer when it comes to God and the Gospel, relying strictly on the empirical, the provable, the physical to believe. Just because I have never (knowingly) met a demon face to face does not mean they do not exist. Neither do I have proof that you have ever had a thought or a pain, but I can rest assured you have. Just because one does not see, hear, feel, etc. an entity does not mean it does not exist. As an extension of this, I believe that they who claim to be vampires may indeed be possessed by a "demon" of some sort. Maybe the "demon" of arrogance? Of rebellion? Of hate? Maybe the "demon" of lust of superiority or control in some way?

My suggestion is that you not let your youth watch this film if for no other reason than its portrayal and arrogant glorification of an evil lifestyle. But that is not my "job." My job is to tell you what is there objectively and by his Word so you might be in a better position to make an informed moral decision whether it is fit for your family. We tell you what is there. You decide.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 37 out of 100
Though not a seriously violent film, some content was certainly violent. For example, the "bad guy" vampires dragged a security officer off camera to murder him, ostensibly to suck his blood. This involved a beating which was not the only beating in the film. Further, as seems typical of Hollywood's opinion of teens, there were examples of vehicular reckless endangerment and reckless driving. Other examples of violent and/or crime-oriented influence include a long sequence of stalking to kill, an impalement injury and a couple instances of battery. Of greatest concern (subjectively) is the repeated presentations of a young girl's preference of death over life. Heed what God has to say about the influence, the enticement of violence in Prov. 16:29 below.

Impudence/Hate (I) - 74 out of 100
While there was only one use of profanity noted in the entire 116 minutes of the film, there are certainly a few other matters of impudence and/or hatred on the part of the performers or the writers: the lies; the comment of "Death is easy, powerful. Life is harder."; the writers placing teens in grave decision-making scenarios, falsely implying a greater level of experiential maturity than that typically found in teen coping skills. [Rev. 21:8, Prov. 14:16, Prov. 10:23]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 40 out of 100
Two sexual assaults invade the frames of this teen celluloid placebo. Note that the two sexual assaults are just assault, not assault and battery. Assault is causing fear. Battery is physical contact against the will of the victim. In addition, Bella ends up in bed with Cullen ... twice. He ends up in her bedroom a number of times. The pair get rather friendly on a mountain side. More. [Hebr. 13:4]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 74 out of 100
Yes, there is teen drunkenness in this film for teens. Four teen boys are drunk as they try to sexually molest Bella. In addition, there is drinking, of beer, apparently the most popular alcoholic beverage among teens. Why do you need to know about this? Since you've asked, I'll tell you.

A 2002 study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage kids. The finding entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% of the youths were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies. Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no viewing restrictions
  • 16% for those with partial viewing restrictions
  • four percent for those with complete viewing restrictions.

    The researchers selected R-rated movies because they assumed R-rated movies typically present more drinking than movies of other classifications. This assumption is no longer true. The researchers were not aware of the matter of R-13 proven by this ministry in 2000 with which Harvard University scientists agreed four years later. The bottom line? The focus is that the influence of adolescent exposure to drinking (and smoking) in and as entertainment is undeniable regardless of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) classification. [Eph. 5:18]

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
    This investigation area found enough content to lose all of its starting 100 points. Almost all of the loss was due to the depiction of unholy powers and vampirism. In addition, points were lost due to eight uses of God's name in vain, though always without the four letter expletive always by teens. God's name is used so much in vain in films nowadays that it is no wonder why so many lose respect for the name of the One who spent three days in Hell so you and I would not have to spend one moment there. No one who uses his name in vain who is also unforgiven will be found guiltless. [Deut. 5:11]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
    While the killing of one of the "bad guy" vampires could be construed as murder, the CAP analysis model views such killing as defensive within the script and was incorporated into the scoring of the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area. Defensive killing is such as that in acts of war, police action and to save one's life or the life of another.


    If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • John 10:10 The thief [Satan] cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:...
  • Zech. 10:2 The idols speak deceit, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd. ["Idols speak deceit" and "diviners see visions that lie" can be attached to the filmmakers of such films as this one.]
  • Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. [The issue is the violence, no matter how "small" it might seem, and its effect on an observer. "A violent man" can be a man, woman OR the men/women/characters demonstrating the violent behavior/action on the screen whether for good or evil OR the sometimes satisfying effects of violence. Knowing of Prov. 16:29 you now know why violence, especially in and as entertainment, can embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. See Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV. And see 1 Cor. 15:33 below.]
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [deilos {di-los'}; timid, cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers [all forms of evil/magic to force or do harm], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Prov. 14:16 A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless. [By the way, one does not have to be afraid of the Lord to fear Him. See our Fear of God publication for more information.] [In Prov. 14:16 and 10:23 "Fool" is keciyl {kes-eel'}: 1) fool, stupid fellow, dullard, simpleton, arrogant one. There is that "arrogant" again. God hates arrogance! Indeed, arrogance is the first in the list of seven behaviors God hates! Prov 6:16 19]
  • Prov. 10:23 It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.
  • Prov. 6:16 - 19 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. [Note that God is speaking to "things" (behaviors), not people. All the "things" He says He hates in Prov. 6:16 - 19 are chosen behaviors, "things" that come from within a man.]
  • Hebr. 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure [which includes before AND during marriage AND gender], for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. [Whether we believe it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we care or not.]
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it [1 Cor. 6:19]. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink in defiance such as underage drinking.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Twilight (2008) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 37 out of 100
  • teen girl repeatedly talking to preferring death to life
  • teens beating a security guard to death (chase and capture seen but killing unseen)
  • other beatings
  • reckless endangerment (vehicle) - teen
  • reckless driving - teen
  • much talk of drinking human blood
  • shotgun
  • long sequence of stalking to kill
  • teen girl preferring suicide to living
  • assault with battery, repeatedly
  • impalement injury
  • burning of evil character after dismembering it (only fire is seen)

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 74 out of 100
  • one use of profanity by an adult
  • lies, repeatedly
  • "Death is easy, powerful. Life is hard"
  • writers portraying teens in grave decision-making scenario atypical of the average teen experiential maturity

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 40 out of 100
  • rude gaze
  • teen girls laughing it up when talking about male anatomy
  • teen boy in girl's bedroom, repeatedly
  • exposure of below navel skin
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts
  • pose to draw attention to human private parts, repeatedly
  • excessive cleavage - teen, repeatedly
  • attempted sexual assault my multiple participants
  • peeping
  • boy and girl making out on her bed, she in her underwear: she removed her pants for the boy, twice
  • boy and girl in her bed snuggling
  • another sexual assault

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 74 out of 100
  • teen drunkenness
  • beer, twice
  • drinking, twice

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • numerous instances of the use of unholy power and the depiction of vampirism
  • eight uses of God's name in vain though without the four letter expletive
  • wanting to end life to exist as undead with an evil demon

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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