In the near future, humans have largely replaced animals as the dominant form of life on Earth. In the films, the vampires of the world have settled into a new era of coexisting with humans. After centuries of living in secret, they are finally living in the open – and showing their true colors.

Amongst this new breed of vampires are powerful bloodsuckers who call themselves ‘Twilight’, and they’re led by an ambitious young female named Alice. While the rest of the vampires fear and respect humans, Twilight embraces a new world of opportunity and adventure, and she intends to prove that she is best suited to lead the vampire race.

In the latest adaptation of L.A. Meyer’s bestselling saga, Twilight, it’s 19 years since Bella Swan first witnessed the ‘vampire bite’, and a lot has changed in that time. Not only have humans largely replaced animals as the dominant form of life on Earth, but the balance of power between humans and the vampire community has shifted, too.

For one thing, most vampires now live in hiding, constantly on the move or in small communities, as a result of the close-quarter battles that used to be commonplace. For another, the humans have developed the ability to read and understand thoughts, and many despise and fear the creatures who drink their blood.

Bella lives with her father, Charlie, and step-mother, Rosalie, in a small town in Upstate New York. After the events of the last film, Alice returned to her father’s side and became the co-leader of the vampire community with him. The Cullens – a family of vampires who live in hiding – have taken on protecting Charlie’s human friends and community from discovering their existence.

Bella’s childhood best friend and fellow school bus commuter, Jessica, and her newly developed attraction to a human, Peter, have led the young women to explore their feelings and the possibility of a love-match. But it’s a complicated world and nothing ever easy. Could these two unsuspecting teenagers really be the solutions to the problems haunting the Vampire World? Or could they bring new and even greater dangers to the fore?

The ‘Twilight’ saga continues with Twilight. Premiering today, November 20, 2016, exclusively in cinemas and IMAX, Twilight is the much-awaited sequel to 2012’s New Moon, the final installment in the blockbuster trilogy that began with 2009’s Twilight and 2011’s Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, Twilight is an adaptation of L.A. Meyer’s original six-part novella, and is available for pre-order now!

Based on the first few chapters of the bestselling saga, Twilight is the story of a young woman named Bella who finds herself at the center of a conflict that will determine the fate of her home and her family. After being turned into a vampire by the bite of an unusually powerful and attractive member of the Cullen clan, Bella is faced with a decision: will she live her life as a vampire, learning to embrace the darker side of human nature, or return to her natural state as a human and be with the one she loves?

Twilight is the tale of a damaged but beautiful teenage girl who discovers the darker side of humanity and the allure of the night, and who must rise to the challenge of her new existence in order to protect those she loves. Along the way, she meets and forms an alliance with a group of uniquely powerful and attractive individuals, known as ‘the Cullens’, who make her dream of a love-match come true – but at what cost?

As a prequel to the Twilight Saga, New Moon tells the story of Bella’s younger sister, Anabella, and her experiences as a young vampire growing up in a world that fears and respects the creatures they’ve named ‘werewolves’ and ‘vampires’, and the family she forms with her human boyfriend, Edward. Anabella’s first instinct upon turning 18 is to flee her secluded valley and seek fortune and adventure in the big city, but she’ll have to fight for her place amongst the elite of the vampire world.

The next installment of the Twilight Saga, released in theaters on October 18, 2016, is the highly anticipated and completely mesmerizing film, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The third and final film in the trilogy, Eclipse reassembles some of the most memorable characters in the series and brings their story to an epic conclusion. In the process, it explores many of the timeless themes that have defined the vampire saga, including the nature of love, loyalty, and determination. With its stunning visuals and extraordinary performances from its youthful cast, Eclipse leaves you breathless and eager for more. It’s available for pre-order now, too!

Why Are Vampires Important To Sci-Fi And Fantasy Films?

Let’s face it, vampires are beautiful. It seems that every movie and television series in existence has featured at least one vampire-related plot point. For that matter, it could be argued that vampires are one of the most important and versatile themes in fiction. Here are just a few of the reasons why we love vampires so much.

Blood Suckers Are All The Rage Right Now

For one, vampires have always been a potent symbol of sex appeal. Take a look at some of the biggest stars in Hollywood history and you’ll find a few cases of vampire infatuation. In fact, the great British actor, Christopher Lee, once said, “I’ve always loved a woman in long-skirted dresses, pearls, and fangs.” With vampires back in the public consciousness after several decades of neglect, it wouldn’t be surprising if some of Hollywood’s most prominent figures were to fall victim to their siren call.

More Importantly, The Twilight Saga – and the vampire genre in general – reflects the zeitgeist of the moment. In these stories, which often emerge from the fertile mind of a visionary screenwriter, the creatures that embody good and evil are not only beautiful and compelling, but they also possess great significance. Specifically, the idea of ‘transformation through love’ resonates heavily in the works of Meyer and his faithful screenwriter, Robin Swicord, and it’s clear that they sought to impart their own experiences of self- discovery and growth through their characters’ quests for love and acceptance.

Vampires Reflect A Challenging And Transforming Self-image

Speaking of which, one of the significant themes that emerges from The Twilight Saga is the idea that of ‘becoming’ something different. For Bella and her fellow vampires, this often means learning to embrace their true nature and accept their extraordinary traits. Consider the series’ most famous character, Sarah, whose aversion to sunlight and inability to pass as human is actually quite useful and helps her fit in amongst her fellow vampires.

In the films’ first installment, Twilight, Bella finds herself strangely attracted to the very things that make her, well, a vampire. After transforming into a creature of the night, she discovers a side of herself that she never knew she could possess. “I love the night, the quiet, the shadows, and the peace that comes with forgetting about the day,” she admits. “I love how my senses are heightened, how my instincts become more acute, how I feel stronger, faster, and more capable.”

Although these qualities are essential to her existence, they are not something that Bella embraces willingly. Instead, she regards these as the result of her vampirism and tries to suppress her true nature. Even when she gets what she wants – in this case, Edward’s love – she still struggles to accept the changes that come with her newfound power. “The human heart is more beautiful and more complex than anything I could have ever imagined,” she says near the end of Twilight. “It’s a shame that all we get to see of it are simple functions like beating or stopping heart functions. Are you sure there isn’t a name for what you do? I mean, I bet there’s a whole science to what you do. Aren’t you the queen of all vampires now?”

Indeed, throughout the series, the creatures of the night are shown to be a highly evolved and sophisticated lot. Vampires demonstrate an impressive degree of emotional maturity and are often portrayed as being much more mature than their flesh-eating counterparts, the werewolves. This makes them a unique and varied cast of characters, which is why audiences continue to be captivated by their story.