Australian Council on Children and the Media

Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The

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Not suitable under 10, not recommended 10-14, PG 14-15 (Violence, disturbing scenes, themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The
  • a review of Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 1 July 2010.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not suitable due to violence and disturbing scenes
Children aged 10-14 Not recommended due to themes, violence and disturbing scenes.
Children aged 14-15 Parental guidance recommended due to themes, particularly the self-destructive choices made by the main female character.

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: Eclipse, The
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Supernatural themes and violence
Length 124 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Eclipse, the third film in the Twilight series, commences with a teenage boy, Riley (Xavier Samuel), being chased through the streets of Seattle by an unseen supernatural assailant, hurled to the ground and bitten on the hand. The film then cuts to the town of Folks where we find teenager Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and teenage vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) engaged in a romantic afternoon in the countryside, oblivious to the rest of the world.

However, all is not well with the rest of the world. In Seattle people are going missing and there are reports of gruesome murders that are supposedly the act of a deranged serial killer. Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), a vampire seeking revenge against Edward for the death of her mate, is found lurking in the woods of Folks and chased off by the Cullen family and a pack of werewolves. To complicated matters further, 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 both compete for Bella’s love.

The plot thickens when prescient vampire Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) has a vision revealing that the terrible events in Seattle are the result of the vengeful Victoria creating an army of newly created vampires or “newborns” led by Riley, for the sole purpose of killing Bella. 

Unable to protect Bella by themselves, the Cullens seek assistance from the werewolves and both vampires and werewolves work together to protect Bella as events build towards the final battle.    

Themesinfo

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.

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

Use of violenceinfo

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.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is the most violent and dark of the three Twilight films and 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. Examples include:

  • A frightened teenage boy is chased through the streets by a shadowy vampire, knocked over and thrown against a wall. He is bitten on the hand and we see the bite marks and the boy lying on the ground arching his back and screaming in pain.
  • We hear a radio news report about people in Seattle living in fear with mass murder being committed and blamed on a crazed serial killer.
  • Jacob tells Bella that it is better that she be dead than become a vampire.
  • We hear a narration of a vampire attack on an Indian village that occurred in the past, see a male vampire standing over the dead bodies of a woman and child that he has killed and hear that werewolves protecting the village killed the male vampire. Flashback images show a female vampire, the male vampire’s mate, seeking 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 run rampage in the streets of Seattle with several vampires drinking blood from the throat of a victim lying on the ground. We see one vampire kill another vampire by putting his fist through the vampire’s head, the head shattering like glass. We see a car turned upside down on the street with several bodies lying on the ground and a number of vampires drinking blood from the necks of the bodies and hear their victims screaming.
  • 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 intoxicated men who make lewd remarks to her. One of the men rough handles Rosalie, forcibly kisses her and throws her to the ground. The scene ends leaving the inference that Rosalie was 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. We hear that Rosalie took revenge against the men that raped her by killing them one by one leaving the ringleader for 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. We then hear him screaming, but do not see any violence.           
  • Jasper shows Bella the scars of numerous bite marks on his arms, and tells Bella how in his past, and at the bidding of an older female vampire, he was made to kill vampire children. Flashback scenes show Jasper grabbing a young boy and twisting his head and we hear the sound of bones breaking.
  • Riley kicks a man across ground then picks the man up and holds him while a female vampire bites him on the neck as the man screams
  • In the final battle between the vampire/werewolves alliance and the “newborn” army we see the two sides collide head on in a frenzied fight during which we see fists punched through the heads of vampires which shatter like glass, heads and limbs smashed off, and necks broken. Werewolves bite the arms, legs and necks of vampires and a vampire crushes werewolf Jacob who changes back into his human form and lies on the ground writhing in pain.  We hear that bones in the left side of his body have been shattered and later hear Jacob screaming in pain as he has his bones re-broken and set straight.
  • The lone survivor of the newborns is a twelve 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. A stump remains where Riley’s hand used to be 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. In an attempt to distract Riley, Bella picks up a sharp stone and cuts her arm with blood trickling down her arm.
  • Edward hurls Victoria through the air and bites her head off. We see images (lasting several seconds) of Victoria’s decapitated head lying on the ground with eyes staring. Edward throws a cigarette lighter on to Victoria’s body which explodes in flames.         

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

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 five, including the following:

  • The werewolves depicted in this film appear as huge wolves the size of a horse and in battle resemble real life wolves fighting.
  • Younger children may be particularly disturbed by the images of Victoria’s decapitated head lying on the ground and Riley’s severed hand.
  • The film has three scenes depicting the death of children. A young boy vampire has his neck broken by Jasper, we see violence towards (and the inferred death of) a young girl vampire, and flashback scenes show a vampire standing over the dead bodies of a mother and her young child.      

Aged five to eightinfo

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.

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

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

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 may also be disturbed by the scenes described above, particularly the death of children.

Over thirteeninfo

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 may also be disturbed by some of the scenes described above.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Edward asks Bella to marry him and Bella refuses, joking that girls her age usually only get married if they get “knocked up”.
  • A group of intoxicated men make lewd remarks to a woman, saying that it is hard to tell what she is like with all her clothes on. 
  • Bella asks her father if marriage has value in it. Bella’s father tells her that she doesn’t want to have to get married because she is not being careful and asks if she and Edward are taking precautions. Bella tells her father that she is 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 and asks him to try.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • A bare-chested Jacob lies down next to Bella, who is freezing, and cuddles her to warm her up. Jacob makes the comment to Edward, “Lets face it I’m hotter than you,” then jokingly tells Bella, “You’ll warm up faster if you take your clothes off.  
  • The film contains several scenes of Bella and Edward kissing each other passionately on the lips. In one scene they are lying on a bed kissing with Bella undoing the buttons on Edward’s shirt and the pair rubbing their hands up and down each others bodies. Before the encounter gets any further, Edward stops it by standing up and doing up the buttons on his shirt.  
  • Edward presents Bella with a ring which was his mother’s and 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 and the pair passionately kiss each other .

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

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

Coarse language

There is some occasional low-level coarse language in this movie, including:

  • “Put you through hell”, “bad arse”, “being an arse”, “blood sucking demon”

In a nutshell

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

The main messages from this movie are not all positive. Self sacrifice is a strong theme. Bella is willing to give up everything for Edward, including her life, and parents may wish to discuss the self-destructive nature of Bella’s choices with teenage girls in particular. At the same time both Edward and Jacob are willing to sacrifice their lives in order to protect Bella. Jacob is willing to make these sacrifices for Bella even knowing that she has chosen Edward over himself, while Edward is willing to sacrifice his personal happiness in order to prevent Bella from becoming a vampire. 

Other messages include that

  • opposing forces can work together when they have a common goal.
  • making the right choices in life is important as all choices have consequences.

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