Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, The
Not suitable under 15 due to disturbing themes and scenes
This topic contains:
- overall comments and recommendations
- details of classification and consumer advice lines for Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, The
- a review of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 22 November 2011.
Overall comments and recommendations
|Children under 15
||Not suitable due to disturbing themes and scenes.
About the movie
This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.
|Name of movie:
||Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, The
|Consumer advice lines:
||Supernatural themes and medical procedures
This review of the movie contains the following information:
A synopsis of the story
The film begins with Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward
Cullen (Robert Pattinson) making the final preparations for their upcoming
wedding. Apart from Bella’s other romantic interest, Jacob Black (Taylor
Lautner) causing a minor scene at the reception, the wedding goes as planned
and Edwards whisks his new bride off for a romantic honeymoon on a secluded
island. Bella and Edward spend several blissful days together, but soon Bella
realises that she is pregnant and that the pregnancy is progressing at an
unnaturally fast rate.
Horrified at the implications of this, Edward makes plans to
return home with the intention of having Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli)
abort the pregnancy, while Bella is intent on going through with the pregnancy
regardless of the consequences. Bella’s return home is kept a secret, but when
Jacob and the rest of the wolf pack learn of Bella’s pregnancy, the leader of
the pack Sam (Chaske Spencer) informs Jacob that Bella and her unborn “abomination”
must be killed to protect their people. Jacob rebels against Sam’s authority
and leaves the pack with Jacob returning to the Cullen’s home to stand guard
The baby grows to full term in a matter of weeks with its
rapid growth weakening Bella to the point of death before she goes into violent
Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.
Vampires; the supernatural; self sacrifice
Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.
Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.
While this film contains less action violence than previous Twilight
films, it contains a number of disturbing scenes depicting bloody and gory
images as well as reference to acts of violence. Examples include:
- Edward tells Bella that he wanted to know it felt to taste
human blood and we see a flashback of
Edward biting the necks of several men and see blood on Edwards lips and teeth.
We are told that all of his male victims were murderers and rapists who preyed on
- After having sex with her, Edward asks Bella how badly she
has been hurt, and we see bruises on Bella’s shoulders and arms. Bella tells
Edward that she did not feel the pain or mind the bruises.
- Edward tells Bella that he wants her to abort the pregnancy,
saying “Carlisle will get that thing out”.
- There are several references to killing Bella and her unborn
- We see a number of images of Bella heavily pregnant, with a
swollen stomach and bruised and battered torso. We are told that the baby is
crushing her from the inside out and will kill her before she can give birth.
Bella looks very ill and emaciated with dark circles under her eyes. Bella
states that she is willing to sacrifice herself for her baby.
- There are several scenes depicting violence between
werewolves and vampires during which we see werewolves chasing and leaping onto
vampires knocking them to the ground and vampires punching werewolves and throwing
them through the air. A werewolf pins a vampire woman to the ground and is about
to kill her when he is stopped by Jacob.
The film’s most intense and disturbing scenes
are those of Bella’s labour. When Bella goes into labour we see her convulsing and
bending backwards until we hear the sound of her spine breaking. A woman drags a
scalpel across Bella’s stomach and Bella screams. Edward puts his face down
towards Bella’s stomach and we hear the sound of tearing flesh. When Edward
lifts his head up, his face and mouth are covered with blood and he is holding the
new born baby in his hands. The baby and Edward’s hands are covered in blood
and gore. Following the birth Bella lies lifeless on the hospital bed, covered
in sweat and blood. Edward gives Bella mouth to mouth resuscitation and pounds
on her chest. He plunges a gigantic syringe filled with vampire venom into
Bella’s heart then bites her all over her body in an attempt to revive her.
Material that may scare or disturb children
Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.
Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.
In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are
some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of
eight, including the following:
- In a nightmare, Bella in her wedding dress walking down the
isle with rose petals falling around her. The rose petals turn into blood
droplets and then a rain of blood. We see Bella and Edward standing at the
alter with their hands, mouths and clothing splattered and covered in blood,
they are standing in front of a pile of blood covered dead bodies with a large
pool of blood at their feet.
- Bella ravenously eats pieces of semi-raw chicken. She looks at the raw flesh runs to the toilet
and violently throws up (we hear the sound effects of Bella vomiting and see a
brief image of vomit leaving her mouth).
- To feed her unborn baby Bella drinks several cups of blood
using a straw and we see Bella’s mouth and teeth stained with blood.
- Several scenes of young men morphing into savage looking
werewolves with supernatural strength and speed.
- Bella’s lifeless emaciated body lies on a hospital trolley.
She is wearing a torn and blood covered hospital gown and numerous bite marks
cover her body. We see graphic inside images of her body as it reacts to
vampire poison, with her blood, veins and tissues taking on a crystallised
appearance. Bella screams out in pain as the transformation occurs. We hear the
sounds of bones cracking and see images of her broken spine regenerating and
healing, her sunken and broken ribcage rising, cuts and bruises healing, dark
patches under her eyes disappearing and her skin taking on a healthy
Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed
by the above mentioned images
Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.
Younger children in this age group are also likely to be
disturbed by the above mentioned images
The following products are displayed or used in this movie:
The film contains sexual references and innuendo. Examples
- Bella pretends to be shocked that Edward might not be a
- While looking lustfully at attractive young women (cousins
of the Cullen’s family) a young man makes the remark “What a gene pool.” The
pair then discussed the possibility that Bella may be getting married because
she is pregnant.
- In a conversation between Bella, Jacob and Edward about
Bella engaging in sex with Edward before she is turned into a vampire, Jacob
infers that having sex with Edward could kill Bella.
- Bella and Edward embrace passionately while swimming in the
ocean and Edward makes a remark about not being able to control himself.
- In relation to engaging in sex we hear Bella telling Edward
“It was amazing for me”, “The best night of my existence”, and “For a human I
can’t imagine how it gets any better”.
- When Bella sees tampons in her bag she counts off the days
since the wedding and realises that her period is late. She tells Edward that
her period is late and that she thinks she is pregnant.
Nudity and sexual activity
The film contains some partial nudity and sexual activity.
- Several scenes of women wearing revealing clothing.
- Bella and Edward swim and embrace while naked (we see their
- Bella and Edward lie in bed, both appearing to be naked with
Edward lying on top of Bella. They kiss passionately and we hear both breathing
heavily and moaning and see some thrusting movements. Edward
breaks the bed’s headboard. The next morning when Bella wakes up the bedroom
appears wrecked with pillows ripped, feathers floating in the air and the bed
almost totally destroyed.
- After Edward refuses to make love to Bella she entices him
by wearing a sheer negligee, pulling him close and kissing him passionately,
then straddling his lap at which point Edward sits up and kisses her passionately.
Use of substances
The film contains some occasional low-level substance use.
- Social drinking at the wedding with some tipsy behaviour.
During the wedding reception we hear a man remark “I plan on getting drunk”.
Social drinking at a sidewalk café.
The film contains some occasional low-level coarse language.
- Crap, pissed off, shut up, damn it, what the hell, demon
In a nutshell
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, the latest film
based on Stephanie Meyer’s best selling novel series is an intense fantasy romance
that targets adolescent girls. It is by
far the most disturbing of the Twilight films so far and not suitable for
tweens and younger teenagers. Parents should be warned that it was originally
classified MA15+ by the Australian Classification Board and reclassified without
alteration by the Classification Review Board.
The main message from this movie is that true love is worth
tremendous self sacrifice
Parents may wish to discuss Bella’s sacrifice of herself for
Edward and for her baby and the implications for real-life relationships.