Netflix Revamped


Illustrations by Alexa Druyanoff & Sophia Evans

Becca Berlin

Upon the release of the first “Twilight” film in 2008, millions of moviegoers across the world packed theaters, eager to indulge in the film’s forests, vampires and soundtrack. Although teenagers today are unable to experience the “Twilight” fandom at the height of its popularity, they continue watching the films through various streaming platforms.

Based on Stephenie Meyer’s book series of the same name, “The Twilight Saga” was added to the Netflix library July 16, and all five films quickly became a part of Netflix’s top ten rankings.

Billy Johnson ’22, who watched the films for the first time this summer, said he enjoys the series despite thinking they were poorly made.

“I watched all of [movies] for the first time with a small group of friends [who had] varying ‘Twilight’ experience levels,” Johnson said. “[The movies are] terrible but awesome.”

Before they were available on Netflix, the “Twilight” movies were streamed exclusively on Hulu. Approximately 5,000 Hulu users binged all five movies on the day of their release, and over 135,000 users finished the saga within the first week of its availability, according to Cinema Blend.

Like Johnson, Carter Staggs ’23 had not watched the first film before its release on Netflix. He said he was initially reluctant to join the millions of “Twilight” fans because of the negative preconceived notions he held against the films.

“Going into the movie, I did not expect it to be very good,” Staggs said. “However, I had fun watching the movie. Though it would not be something I would choose to watch by myself, I can now see the appeal of the ‘Twilight’ series.”

Staggs said many of his friends are “Twilight” fans and that their contagious excitement over the films convinced him to watch them for the first time.

Long-time “Twilight” fan Adison Gamradt ’23 said she watched “The Twilight Saga” with her younger sister over the summer after they read all four books. Although Gamradt read the original “Twilight” books years ago, she said she waited to finish watching all of the movies until they were released on Netflix.

“Finally getting to watch the movies felt super satisfying,” Gamradt said. “I’m actually glad I waited to watch because the timing ended up being perfect to watch with my sister, and I feel like movies are always more fun when you watch with someone and have a running commentary.”

Gamradt said said she enjoyed the films more the second time she watched them.

“I was really able to focus on the more cinematic elements of the movie and look beyond just the characters and plot,” Gamradt said. “I love the soundtrack of ‘Twilight’ because when you really listen, the songs actually add so much to the experience and capture the vibe of the movie.”

Dani Lynch ‘23 said it seems that streaming platforms have perfected a game of tug of war with the rights to the “Twilight” movies: Each streaming platform vies to release the film to their subscribers, wrangling in mass viewership and reviving the popularity of the films. She said this is true for several other teen movies from the early 2000s, noting that Netflix has recently brought movies like “Legally Blonde,” “Wild Child” and “Mean Girls” back onto their platform.

Lynch said she appreciates the trend of reviving previously popular movies on modern streaming platforms, and she said Netflix’s strategy has worked in motivating her to stream the films through the platform.

“I love rewatching movies because you always notice things you wouldn’t notice the first time you watch,” Lynch said. “I think it’s exciting to find things I didn’t see before, so when a movie shows up on Netflix, of course I am going to watch it.”

Donya Ghassemieh ’23 said she tends to favor streaming platforms over traditional television and believes streaming platforms are necessary to attract a new generation of viewers to older films.

“I never watch regular [TV], so I don’t even look to see if older movies are playing live [on TV],” Ghassemieh said. “I go straight to Netflix, Hulu and even HBO Max to find something to watch when I want to see my favorites again.”

Lynch said the wide array of crowd-pleasing films on Netflix keeps her engaged with the platforms content.

“I love those movies that are kind of stupid, but they’re there so you watch them just to watch them,” Lynch said. “That’s what made me watch ‘Twilight’.”