The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 continues the epic love story of vampires and humans. It picks up where the last installment left off, with Bella in the final trimester of her pregnancy. In the interim, our heroines have gone their separate ways. The film picks up eight months later, and follows the adventures of Bella and her daughter, Emmett, as they rebuild their lives. Unfortunately, the series couldn’t end on a high note; the movie is plagued by mediocre reviews and low box office returns.

But as always, there’s more than one side to a story. To get to the heart of why so many people hate this film, you have to go back to the very beginning. Before we get into it, though, let’s take a quick moment to appreciate the breathtaking beauty that is Emily Quinn. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Emily Quinn.

1. The Casting Is Phenomenal

One of the biggest draws of the Twilight films is their fantastic casting. The original Twilight was able to draw on a veritable Who’s Who of Hollywood stars, with Oscar winners and nominees dotting the cast. But the sequel is even more distinguished, with a star-studded ensemble cast. It would be hard to name a more impressive group of actors.

To start, we have the incomparable Robert Pattinson. He continues to impress in the titular role, having learned a great deal since his first go-around with the fad. His acting in this film is full of subtlety and nuance, bringing an entirely new dimension to the character. He is ably supported by a brilliant cast, including Kate Winslet, who gives a career-defining performance as an evil vampiress; and Uma Thurman, who impresses as the self-righteous leader of the Volturi coven.

Then we have the always-welcome James Marsden, who is brilliant as always, as well as Lenny Kravitz and Rebecca Romijn, who provide perfect comic relief as a flamboyant stage magician and an undead fashion icon, respectively.

The supporting cast is just as illustrious, and includes the ever-reliable Kate Beckinsale, Vanessa Hudgens, and Alexander Skarsgard. The latter two particularly shine as Annette Obrestad, the sole surviving member of the original Volturi coven, and her monstrous descendant, Victoria.

2. The Cinematography Is Outstanding

Another thing that makes the Twilight films so memorable is their stunning cinematography, particularly the eye-catching lunar imagery. There are several different cinematographers behind the scenes, each contributing their own touch to the final product. In general, the camera work is fluid and elegant, depicting the beautiful, often ethereal world of the undead with dreamlike quality.

While the cinematography is undeniably beautiful, it’s important to remember that it’s all done with a very specific purpose in mind: to enhance the horrific, nightmarish atmosphere that the series is famous for. To that end, the filmmakers utilized practical effects – notably, the hues of red and yellow – to create a truly disturbing atmosphere. Even the smallest details contribute to the grand scope of the series’ unique aesthetic, from the sheens of blood that gracefully spiral around Winslet’s limbs in her climactic fight scene, to the vivid orange of Renesmee’s eyes as she awakens from her centuries-long sleep.

3. The Music Is Intense And Scary

Finally, let’s not forget about the series’ haunting musical score. It’s true that John Williams is perhaps best known for his work on the Jurassic Park franchise, but this is definitely his best score yet. It’s an orchestral masterpiece that will have numerous re-listens.

The musical score is not only a standout, but is essential to the series. It serves as the emotional center of the narrative, and blends dramatically with the on-screen action. Plus, it’s nice to have some familiar, beloved music to listen to after a long day of scares – or even just to help you get into the mood of the series.

The Twilight films are definitely not for everyone. Those looking for an action-packed thrill ride, with plenty of gore, may want to look elsewhere. But for those seeking a more introspective, character-driven experience, filled with exquisite production values and an intense atmosphere, the Twilight series is hard to beat.