You must have spent the late 2000s living under a rock if you’ve never heard of The Twilight Saga.
It absolutely dominated the cinema screens, and before then the best-selling novels had adolescents everywhere waiting for a handsome mysterious vampire to sneak into their bedroom windows at night.
And if you want the best guide for these movies you couldn’t have come to a better expert on the subject.
I still remember going to the movie theatre with my mum on November 16th for a non-stop movie marathon day that ended with the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn Part One.
Every poster donned my walls, cardboard cut-outs stood beside my bed, and every replica of memorabilia was purchased. I guess you could call me a pretty hardcore Twi-Hard.
And I cannot wait to take you on this cinematic journey.
So whether you’re like me, and are setting up that movie marathon for a nostalgic blast from the past, or are stumbling upon the franchise with fresh eyes (I cannot tell you how jealous I am, what I wouldn’t give to watch these again for the first time) I’m going to make sure that you watch these in the best and correct order and have a great time doing so.
Are you Team Edward? Or Team Jacob? Watch these fantastic films, and come back and let me know!
Chronological Or Release Date?
Some movies are not actually released in chronological order, however, The Twilight Saga release dates are all in chronological order, which makes watching the movies in order pretty simple.
However, for those of you that may not be as infatuated (or let’s be honest, completely obsessed) with the franchise like me, you may not actually know the order in which these movies should be watched just from their names.
Below you’ll find a list of the correct watching order:
- Twilight – Released in 2008
- The Twilight Saga: New Moon – Released in 2009
- The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – Released in 2010
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One – Released in 2011
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part Two – Released in 2012
How Long Will It Take To Watch The Entire Twilight Saga
If you’re hoping to watch the entire saga, it’ll take you a total of 10 hours and 8 minutes (608 minutes) to binge the lot, given that you have no toilet or snack breaks.
Realistically, I’d say your looking at around an 11 hour to 12 hour stint to watch the entire lot.
So you may want to watch a movie per night, but if you pop a Redbull or two its definitely possible to have a werewolf and vampire-tastic day. I know this because I’ve done it myself.
Movie Breakdowns (Don’t Worry No Spoilers)
Now that we know the correct order to binge this fantastic series in, let’s take a more detailed look at what you can expect to see.
Released November 20th, 2008. Runtime: 122 minutes. Rating: PG-13, Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Bella Swan (played by Kristen Stewart) moves to Forks to be with father, and Cheif of Police, Charlie Swan. The 17-year old soon becomes infatuated with the mysterious and devistatingly handsome outcast (and ‘vegan’ vampire) Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) but soon comes to realize that unlike the town there is nothing mundane and boring about this boy.
Bella soon comes to realize that there’s more truth behind all those all old tales of mythical monsters and is thrown into a world that was beyond her wildest imagination.
But this is no average love story, not when the boy she desires, desires much more than her company.
Despite, the obvious trials and tribulations that come with falling for a vampire, there is much more drama to come throughout the movie.
Not every vampire she’ll meet will be as ‘good’ as the Cullens, and her proximity to the clan buts her life in great danger when they encounter an evil coven.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Released November 18th, 2009. Runtime: 131 minutes. Rating: PG-13, Director: Chris Weitz
In the second movie, Bella is feeling anxious about turning 18 while her sexy unaging vampire boyfriend stays perfectly 17.
But while the vampire family celebrate Bella’s birthday, the brooding boyfriends worst nightmare soon becomes a reality as Bella’s safety is put in jeopardy again.
In a gut-wrenching moment, her protector and love of her life disappears from the constant cover of clouds and rain which is forks. But forgetting a love this strong is no easy feat, and Bella is left alone, broken and unable to mend.
Throughout this movie, you’ll say goodbye to Edward Cullen (cry), and hello to soon-to-be werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner.) But, again, the young girl soon realizes that in this town, all is not as it seems, and neither are the people.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Released 23rd June, 2010. Runtime: 124 minutes. Rating: PG-13. Director: David Slade
You’ll be happy to hear that the sexy vampire returns in the third installment of the saga. But is it too little to late? The scars of Edwards absence we’re stitched back together with Jacobs love, and now Bella has a big decision to make.
However, a string of mysterious killings happening close to the town threaten Bella’s protection, and the two enemies (Jacob and Edward) must form an unlikely alliance to keep her safe.
But who will she choose?
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One
Released 16th November, 2011. Runtime: 117 minutes. Rating: PG-13. Director: Bill Condon
Part One of Breaking Dawn focuses on Bella’s wedding and honeymoon! But the feud between the two most important boys of her life was not quashed by their alliance in the previous installment.
And when it becomes apparent that Bella intends to have a real honeymoon while still human, tensions rise between the two supernatural interests.
Scared that she won’t survive the ordeal, the animosity between the two boys rises to the highest levels yet.
And while Bella does survive the honeymoon, it’s not long before a much more serious problem arises as she falls pregnant.
Can a fragile human carry the supernatural child to full-term? Neither boy is so sure, but Bella is adamant to go throug with the pregnancy.
This causes further friction between the pack and coven, but both boys stand firm in their protection of Bella. But will it be enough? Will Bella and baby survive?
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part Two
Released 13th November, 2012. Runtime: 115 minutes. Rating: PG-13. Director: Bill Condon
Bella stumbles into a whole new life in the final installment of The Twilight Saga as she leaves her human-self behind as an essential supernatural transformation saves her from death.
But Bella isn’t given much time to adjust to supernatural life or motherhood, as danger rears its ugly head once again.
In the biggest battle yet, both vampires and werewolves alike must scour the entire planet for allies to protect not only Bella and her baby, but them all.
In this last epic fight will their be any survivors?
The Book(s) That Never Made It To The Screen
All my real Twi-hard fans will know that while there are only four Twilight books that made their way to the big screen, the stories didn’t stop there. The plot did, sort of.
Unfortunately, we will never know how the rest of forever plays out for Bella, Edward, or Jacob. However if you’ve watched all these films and are desperate for more of a Twilight fix, then there’s plenty of books to go at.
Of course, you’ll need to read the four book installments of the Saga first. And what a wonder they are, there is so much extra detail that you can delve into.
But once you’ve torn through those pages, I do have a few more recommendations for you.
The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner
While this doesn’t really focus on the love triangle we have all grown to adore, it does delve further into the vampire-world.
In this book Stephenie Meyer tells the story of newborn vampire Bree Tanner who we meet in the third installment (Eclipse.)
Life And Death: Twilight Reimagined
This novella swaps the genders in the orginal book, and instead male human Beau is introduced to female vampire Edythe Cullen. The book has that Twilight feel but is something unique and different
Midnight Sun was finally released in 2020 and it was every Twi-Hard’s dream. Midnight Sun is the first book written from Edwards point of view, and I can promise that it definitely does not disappoint.
A snippet of the book was first leaked all the way back in 2008. Meyer officially released the leaked snippet to allow fans to read it guilt-free, but said that due to the leak she would not continue with the story.
So of course, when it was finally released in 2020, it reignited the love for the franchise for many adoring fans a massive 12 years later.
None of these books ever made it to the cinema screen, and unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they ever will. Many fans (including myself) were desperate for Meyer to write the whole saga from Edwards point of view, but the author has said that that is where the story officially ends. Sigh.
If you’ve never watched this super-popular franchise, then you need to immediately abandon what you’re doing and get that popcorn cooking.
I can ensure you that the films will ignite a deep passion and obsession within you and you certainly won’t be disappointed.
When you’ve finished don’t despair, Meyer does have one more movie that made it to the big screen, although this isn’t part of the Twilight story.
The Host, also about supernatural love, is another very popular book that made it to motion picture, so be sure to give that a try next!
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