The final instalment of the wildly popular Twilight franchise is here, and it’s an astonishing finale that doesn’t disappoint! If you’ve been anxiously awaiting the end of this cinematic love triangle, then you won’t be disappointed – not even a little bit! – as the series finale brings to a close the story of Bella and Edward’s romance in a breathtaking display of romantic suspense.
For those unfamiliar, Twilight is a young adult vampire romantic fantasy series that follows the relationship of Bella (Taylor Lautner) and Edward Cullen (Pattinson). The first film adaptation was released in 2008, and the franchise has since then become one of the most popular and influential tales ever told. The movie follows the bestselling young adult novel Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, which was first published in 2005 and later turned into a blockbuster film series. As its title suggests, Little Ashes is the name of the final novel in the Twilight series, and it was written by the acclaimed author as a homage to her famous series.
Set to music from the legendary John Williams, the film begins with a striking image of a twinkling bonfire as a backdrop against an ominous but exquisite sky. The camera slowly pulls back to reveal a group of silhouettes standing around the blazing blaze; they appear to be chanting, but the soundtrack alone is enough to evoke a deeply spiritual and mystical aura.
Cut to black and white, the scene is dominated by figures in long, dark coats against a stark background as an ominous drum beat builds in the soundtrack. As the camera pans across the gathering, the silhouettes become aware of their surroundings and break apart to reveal a group of individuals preparing for a pagan ritual. This is not your average Friday night party, as these partygoers are clearly not your usual animal-masked trick-or-treaters. Instead, these cult members are decked out in full-on 19th century battle attire with brass knuckle dusters, spiked gloves and trousers, knee-high black boots, and tricorn hats. It’s an arresting display that immediately draws the attention of any audience member.
Welcome To Wolf Country
Bella and Edward’s (Lautner and Pattinson) story is now coming to an end after five books and four films, with the couple’s happily ever after reportedly being one of the main themes of the series. After watching the films, you’ll know exactly what awaits them at the end of Little Ashes: the struggle for survival in the last place they’d want to be – otherworldly wolf country.
In Book Four, Twilight, the couple’s odyssey through the Canadian wilderness takes its toll on Edward as he fights for his life while trying to protect Bella from physical harm. Forced to rely solely on her instincts and keen awareness of their surroundings, Bella is finally able to overcome her fear and manage a bite on a werewolf, earning herself a place in the eyes of the Volturi, a coven of Italian vampires. Thanks to an intervention from the fanged creatures, Edward is successfully turned back into a human, and the couple’s happily ever after is assured.
The Volturi are the film adaptation’s villains, and while they don’t appear in person until the finale, their presence is felt from the moment their disciples break into John Williams’ famous score. With their shadows lengthening across the stark white snow and ominous growls emanating from beneath their hoods, the Volturi are an alluring yet intimidating sight. You’ll know exactly what the white-robed figures are before you even know their name – they’re the ones who’ll stop at nothing to achieve their aim of collecting pure blood and serving it to the Great Maker in exchange for eternal life. When Williams’ iconic ‘The Great Dance’ begins, you can be sure that these are not regular party attendees.
The Dance Floor Is Opened
Thematically, Little Ashes continues the story begun in Twilight, charting the early days of Bella and Edward’s (Lautner and Pattinson) relationship as well as their fledgling family. Themes such as family, loyalty, and love are brought to the fore as the couple finds themselves marred by misunderstandings and misalignment of goals as they strive to establish their home alongside their growing tribe of werewolves. The book also serves as an excellent introduction to the nuances of werewolf society as they navigate their way through their first winter in Bella’s makeshift camp. It’s an engrossing read that will appeal to fans of both the Twilight and werewolf genres, or anyone who enjoys a sweeping coming-of-age tale with a supernatural twist!
Dark And Scary
Despite its title, Little Ashes is a celebration of colour rather than one of darkness and scare tactics. There are very few moments of overt horror in this otherwise fairly routine coming-of-age tale as the story progresses in lockstep with the seasons and the progression of winter to springtime. When the occasional rat or roach does appear on screen, it’s more out of curiosity than fear, and it’s something that adds a little extra zing to the already sharp dialogue and fast-paced action scenes. For those who’ve yet to experience the pleasures of reading, let this be your introduction to the magical world of Stephenie Meyer – her books will continue to earn her a spot alongside Emily Dickinson and William Wordsworth as one of America’s great poets!
The romance between Lautner and Pattinson is a genuine match made in heaven as these two perfectly complement each other as an onscreen couple. After spending three films separated from one another, the question of whether or not they’d actually say “I love you” was one that had been looming large over the fanbase. Thanks to this film and its glorious final scene, we might see a bit of a romantic revival spearheaded by Twi-hards looking for a happily ever after of their own!
There’s also the small matter of Lautner’s engagement to longtime partner Taylor Goldsmith, which will no doubt provide the actor with some extra motivation to live up to the cinematic standard that is set with every passing minute! Fans of the Twilight saga will have plenty to look forward to in terms of a happier ending as this trilogy draws to a close, and we can only hope that Meyer will continue to explore the relationships that exist within the wolf tribe in future books and films.