The Twilight Saga is one of the most popular and anticipated movie franchises of all time. If you’re not familiar, it revolves around a vampire named Edward who falls in love with a human girl, Bella. Naturally, this causes some trouble due to vampires not being able to get their hands on human blood but that’s certainly not the focus of the series. The saga is very long considering there are five films and almost 100 hours of footage. If you’re looking for a movie to stream or download, this is the perfect opportunity as the entire saga is available to rent or purchase on Amazon’s Prime Video.

The Twilight Saga (2008)

The Twilight Saga was released in 2008 and is one of the first installments in the series. Its main draw is the unprecedented collaboration between director Chris Weitz and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. Their script is rather clever as it mixes drama and comedy while delving into the troubled relationships between the characters. The filmmakers did not have a specific story in mind when they started writing but they knew they wanted to incorporate the rivalry between vampires and werewolves into the story. This is evident in the very first scene where Edward attacks a group of werewolves and feeds on one of their members. You’ll have to watch the movie to understand what happened next but it basically set the tone for the rest of the series. This is a gritty, realistic drama that feels more like a TV show rather than a movie. At one point, Weitz jokes that he wants to show how good he is at making TV shows rather than movies.

Weitz and Rosenberg also took the opportunity to try something new as they incorporated live action throughout the entire saga. They used a combination of motion capture and performance-capture to create realistic and emotion-rich characters. This is particularly evident in the transformation scenes where Edward becomes a vampire and Bella becomes a wolf. The CGI is simply amazing and it’s a testament to the strength of these two filmmakers that they were able to pull it off so well. If you’re looking for a dark, scary drama that maintains a solid sense of humor, this is one to consider. It even won an Oscar for Best Makeup.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

The Twilight Saga: New Moon was released in 2009 and is the second installment in the saga. Its main appeal is the return of the vampires as the big bad in this story. New Moon is the first movie in The Twilight Saga where the threat of vampires is more apparent. The idea behind this is to establish them as a greater danger and create more suspense. Naturally, this also makes them more complex and interesting characters. The narrative explores the struggles of a vampire community that is growing increasingly bold and rebellious.

The Twilight Saga is also one of the first movies where the special effects are more sophisticated. The filmmakers used a variety of techniques to bring their visions to life including rotoscoping, motion-capture, and green screen photography. These effects were used to create the illusion of characters walking, posing, and acting naturally even when they are completely computer generated. This sort of attention to detail is what helped make this movie one of the best of the series. As a bonus, you’ll notice that the acting and dialogue are quite strong as well. The best part is that they still managed to incorporate a decent amount of humor into the drama. This is most evident in the scene where Bella confronts her mother about her father’s abusive behavior. It’s a complicated issue but the writers do a phenomenal job of portraying the inner turmoil that Bella experiences.

This is also one of the first movies where the conflict between vampires and werewolves is given more emphasis. The script does a great job of keeping the tension high as werewolves are hunting vampires and vice versa. This is also the first movie of the series where the main characters don’t physically transform into their animal forms. This is quite a departure from the original story and it allows the filmmakers to explore new narrative directions while also sticking close to the source material.

One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is also one of the most heartbreaking. It’s the transformation scene where Bella gets bitten by a wolf and turns into a vampire. The look and feel of a real bite is quite difficult to capture and it is very well done. As she draws her last breath, Bella lets out a little sigh before transitioning into dust. This is one of the most tragic transformations in cinema history as the look and feel of a real bite is quite difficult to capture. It’s also a scene that will likely stay with you for the rest of your life. If you’ve never been much of a crier, this is one scene you might want to avoid as it may bring tears to your eyes.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse was released in 2010 and is the third installment in the saga. Its main selling point is its amazing CGI. The previous films had taken great advantage of the medium and it shows in Eclipse. The story picks up immediately following the events of the previous movie. We’re now a few months later and it’s revealed that Bella is pregnant with Edward’s child. The narrative explores the struggle between what is good and what is evil as the main character confronts the wishes of both her mother and father. Naturally, this also creates some interesting conflicts for the protagonist.

One of the things that helped make this movie such a success is that the filmmakers incorporated a variety of special effects into the story. In fact, there are so many effects-driven scenes that it became quite a chore to describe them all. There are scenes where the camera focuses on a swarm of bees attacking the main character, there’s a heartless robotic wolf, and even an octopus that tries to strangle the protagonist. If you’re looking for a movie with a lot of action, this is the one to check out. Naturally, there’s also a scene where you’ll laugh until you cry as the writers poke fun at the absurdity of life in the animal kingdom.

This is also one of the first movies in the series where the narrative takes a turn for the fantastical. The story opens with a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows as he observes Bella’s family. It then cuts to a scene where Bella’s father takes her to a baseball game. During the game, he starts getting suspicious when he sees someone watching them. He asks Bella who she was talking to and she says no one. He then sees a shape shift and realizes that it’s some sort of monster. Naturally, he alerts the security guards who chase and capture the creature. From there, it’s a race against time as they try to figure out what it is that they’ve captured. This segment is incredibly fun as it incorporates a variety of special effects including pyrokinesis. It also features a terrifically animated wolf character named Beta. If you’re a fan of werewolves or monster movies in general, this is one you might want to check out. As a bonus, this is the first and only movie where Edward is shown with red eyes. It’s also the scene where he reveals his true form to Bella. The color comes from the setting sun as it hits his eyes giving them a reddish hue. It’s quite an interesting touch and it really accentuates the demonic nature of his character.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 was released in 2011 and is the final installment in the saga. It was originally intended to be released in two parts but due to various problems with the script, they had to split it into two separate movies. Despite the narrative’s dark undertones, it’s still very family friendly as there are several jokes and references to Disney movies. The main story focuses on the pregnancy of Bella and Edward’s baby as the forces of evil continue to loom over them. The best part of this story is the birth of their son, William. It’s quite an emotional moment when the boy is handed off to his father to be named after him. Naturally, this is also the scene where William’s metamorphosis begins. If you’re not familiar, this is the part of the story where Bella learns that her son is a hybrid – he has both vampire and wolf genes.

The script for this film was quite a bit of a struggle for the writers as it had to be approved by the studio several times due to various rewrites and rejigging. Some of the things they had to sacrifice in order to make the movie more marketable to the general public were important plot points and character development. Despite all this, this is still a very worthwhile story to watch as the ending is quite powerful. It’s also the part of the saga where the wolf character is at his best. You’ll laugh and cry throughout as the narrative explores the emotional turmoil that both characters experience. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to this final installment. It’s definitely worth the 3+ hours that it will likely take to watch it once.