Australian Council on Children and the Media

Twilight Saga: New Moon, The

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Not recommended under 13, PG to 15 (Themes; Violence)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Twilight Saga: New Moon, The
  • a review of Twilight Saga: New Moon, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 19 November 2009.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to themes and violence
Children 8-13 Not recommended due to themes and violence
Children 13-14 Parental guidance recommended due to themes and violence
Children 15 and over OK for this age group

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: New Moon, The
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Supernatural themes and violence
Length 131 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

New Moon begins with Bella Swan’s (Kristen Stewart) eighteenth birthday. All goes well until Bella goes to Edward Cullen’s house for a birthday dinner party. Edward along with the rest of his family are vampires and when Bella accidentally receives a paper cut resulting in a drop of blood falling on the floor, Jasper (Jackson Rathbone), a family member and vampire loses control and attacks Bella with several members of the Cullen family having to restrain Jasper. In an effort to protect Bella from the dangers associated with vampiric life, Edward and the entire Cullen family leave the town of Forks with Edward vowing to never see Bella again.

A heartbroken Bella falls into depression that lasts for months until she discovers that placing herself in dangerous situations causes a ghost like image of Edward to appear, pleading with Bella not to place herself in danger. Desperate to make contact with Edward even if only in ghost form, Bella devices a risk taking scheme that will force Edward to make contact. To assist her scheme Bella enlists the aid of her childhood friend Jacob Black (Taylor Launter), a Native American, and it is not long before romance begins to blossom between Bella and Jacob. However, the budding romance is short lived when dormant genes in Jacob come to life and Jacob transforms into a werewolf.

In an effort to make contact with Edward, Bella places herself in peril by jumping off a high cliff into the ocean but is fortunately rescued from drowning by Jacob. The event causes Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene), to mistakenly foresee Bella’s death with Alice informing Edward of Bella’s death. Unable to live without Bella, Edward seeks his own death by going to Italy and begging the Volturi, (Vampiric aristocracy) to kill him, but the Volturi refuse Edward’s requests.

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.

Supernatural themes, suicidal behaviours

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.

While New Moon contains some violence, blood and gore are kept to a minimum. Examples of violence include:

  • a radio report about a group of missing hikers presumed dead. We hear that other campers have been attacked and killed by a large bear like creature.
  • Edward talking about how he envies humans’ ability to commit suicide, giving example of poison or a dagger to the heart.
  • several vampires restraining another vampire. One of the vampires grabs hold of the restrained vampire’s face, he then twist and pulls the vampire’s head off while the other vampires rip the arms off. As the vampire is dismembered he appears to turn to stone and crumble to dust; there is no blood and gore. 
  • a vampire is known to be seeking revenge against Edward, intending to kill him
  • when Bella cuts her finger, Jasper lunges at her.
  • Edwards knocks Bella out of the way and she flies through the air, crashing down on a table and smashing glass. Bella receives a bloody gash to her arm, and the cut bleeds profusely.
  • a fight erupts between Edward and Jasper with Jasper being thrown across the room and against a piano, which crashes to the ground. Jasper is eventually subdued by several other vampires and dragged from the room
  • a man removes pieces of bloody glass from the wound on Bella’s arm and places the pieces of glass in a bowl full of blood stained water.  We see the wound being stitched and bloody bandages placed in a bowl and burnt. 
  • in a flashback image from the first Twilight film we see a vampire biting into Bella’s wrist with blood pouring from the wound. We see the scar that remains.
  • Bella rides a trail bike in an intentionally reckless manner, and crashes it, causing her to flip over the handle bars. She hits her head on a rock, resulting in a bloody gash on her head and blood running down her forehead.
  • a vampire threatens to kill Bella telling her that she is ‘mouth watering’. The vampire tells Bella that another vampire wants to kill her slowly, but that he will do it quickly.
  • several werewolves chase after a vampire. The vampire backhands one of the werewolves causing the werewolf to fly dozens of metres through the air.
  • Bella slaps a man across the face. He becomes angered, transforms into a werewolf and lunges at Bella. A second man transforms into a werewolf and attacks the first werewolf with the pair snarling and tumbling across the ground.
  • a female vampire drops from a forest tree on top of a man. She picks him up by the neck and holds him. A werewolf tackles the vampire forcing her to drop the man who crumples to the ground with the woman running off. She is chased by four werewolves and escapes by jumping into the sea.
  • Bella stands on a cliff to and jumps into the ocean below. Massive waves crash into her and she is knocked unconscious, sinking beneath the waves.
  • A teen vampire girl mutters the word ‘pain’ while focussing her attention on Edward, causing him to contort in pain and fall in a heap to the ground.
  • Edward and a second vampire engage in a violent battle, slamming each other into objects, hurling through the air and grabbing onto each other
  • a group of people are led into a room full of vampires with the implication that the group was going to be killed by the vampires. We hear terrified screams coming from the room.

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 many scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • numerous images of giant threatening werewolves with snarling teeth
  • transformations of teenage boys from human to giant wolf.
  • in several scenes Bella wakes up from a nightmare screaming in terror.
  • an image of the glowing eyes of a wolf peering though forest foliage and the sounds of growling animals
  • images of vampires with glowing red eyes
  • images of a woman with a badly disfigured face. We hear that her partner (a werewolf) caused the injury while in an uncontrollable fit of rage.
  • ghost-like inky black images of Edward.
  • vampires moving with supernatural speed and fighting with supernatural strength.

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 are also likely to be disturbed by the above-men

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.

Some of the above mentioned violent scenes could also scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen.

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.

Most children over the age of thirteen years should be able to cope with the scary images and supernatural themes depicted throughout this film, although parental guidance may be needed particularly around the suicide theme.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Apple laptop computers
  • Volvos
  • Porsches
  • Virgin Airlines

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Bella tells Jacob he is looking “buff” for his age.
  • Jasper tells Edward “You’ve got an older woman, hot”.
  • Bella tells Edward that he will not want her when she is old, a grandmother.
  • Bella jests about dating a man who is over a hundred years old (Edward) with Bella saying that it’s gross.
  • a bare-chested Jacob enters Bella’s bedroom through her window. She touches his naked chest and runs her fingers through his hair. She asks him if he will run away with her, he declines and leaves jumping out of the window. 
  • a teenage girl is  told that she was lucky that she wasn’t probed by aliens, the comment having sexual connotations.

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • teen girls wearing tops that reveal a modest degree of cleavage.
  • teen boys with muscle bound bare chests are depicted frequently throughout the film.
  • several scenes depicting Edward and Bella kissing each other passionately on the lips and embracing warmly.
  • Bella wakes up to find Edward sitting on the end of her bed watching her, he caresses her face and they kiss passionately on the lips.

Use of substances

There is some reference to substances in this movie, including:

  • reference is made to Jacob taking anabolic steroids.
  • Bella is referred to as an “adrenalin junky”.
  • men shown holding bottles of beer.

Coarse language

The film contains some occasional low-level coarse language and mild name calling. Examples include:

  • Stupid, idiot, where the hell, what the hell, it sucks, ‘fricking’, what a marshmallow, filthy blood suckers, pack of mutts, and soulless monster.

In a nutshell

Twilight Saga: New Moon is a supernatural thriller film specifically targeted at younger teenage girls. The film’s main focus is a teenage girl having her heart broken and how she responds to this. Kristen Stewart’s performance stands out from the other cast members including Robert Pattinson. With a running time of just over two hours the film drags on, falling flat in several places.

The main message from this movie is that love will survive over any and all obstacles, if it is strong enough.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children Bella’s extreme reaction to Edward leaving her, and the destructive behaviours and intentions of both lead characters. Parents may wish to discuss the effect of Bella’s behaviour on those around her and alternatives that may have allowed Bella to better cope with the situation.

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