In an attempt to make some sense out of the last several years of Twilightmania, psychologist Niloo Dardashti, PsyD, HHP, has made a documentary on the hubbub surrounding Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga and its effect on women. The documentary, aptly named Into the Twilight Haze, sets out to find why women of all ages are so enthralled by the franchise and what the fervor ultimately says about what women want in relationships these days. In the film, Dardashti theorizes that the story triggers a need for women to feel heard and validated in their relationships, as well as a desire to return to an “old fashioned” style of courtship (as demonstrated in Bella and Edward’s sex-free setup).
Dardashti interviews other psychologists, and fans of the books, to back up her hypothesis. The filmmaker references the “ongoing sexual tension” throughout the saga; one of the few men interviewed for the documentary likens the books to “hundreds of pages of foreplay." He claims, “Everyone knows that foreplay is women’s favorite part of lovemaking,” a quote that’s presented alongside a fuzzy clip of Dardashti and some dude necking.
But I don’t think you need a PhD to figure out why women love Twilight so much. On the surface it’s about an everygirl who has two of the hottest guys in her tiny town fawning over her. It’s easy for women to put themselves in Bella’s place, and to fantasize about being with Edward or Jacob. I should know: I read the first book, and--yes--I was into it for a hot second.
What this documentary doesn’t do is criticize the emotionally abusive nature of Bella and Edward’s relationship. Edward essentially spends the entire saga controlling Bella. He’s possessive and jealous, and when he leaves Bella “for her own good," she breaks down and cries in a corner for months because she’s lost all sense of self. Jacob's hardly a better partner. He's the epitome of ignoring his place in the “friend zone,” and insists that Bella has feelings for him, because there’s no way she'd hang out with him so frequently if she didn’t. I could go on and on about the dangerous messages in Twilight, but I’ll let Laci Green do that for me in this video.
Despite this, I’m sure that Into the Twilight Haze will prove interesting for those curious as to what the hype is all about. You can check out the trailer below and watch the full film here.