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New Moon begins with Bella Swan's (Kristen Stewart) 18th birthday. All is well until Bella goes to Edward Cullen's house for a birthday dinner party. Edward and his family are vampires. When a drop of Bella's blood from a paper cut falls on the floor, Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) loses control and attacks Bella. Several members of the Cullen family must hold Jasper back. To protect Bella from the dangers of vampire life, Edward and his family leave the town of Forks. Edward vows never to see Bella again.
A heartbroken Bella falls into depression that lasts for months. But she discovers that when she puts herself in danger, a ghost-like image of Edward appears and begs her to be safe. Desperate to make contact with Edward, Bella comes up with a risky plan and asks her childhood friend Jacob Black (Taylor Launter) for help. Before long, romance blossoms between Bella and Jacob. But the budding romance is short lived when dormant genes in Jacob come to life and he starts changing into a werewolf.
Bella puts herself in danger by jumping off a high cliff into the ocean, but Jacob rescues her from drowning. This causes Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) to mistakenly foresee Bella's death, which she then tells Edward about. Thinking Bella is dead, Edward wants to die too. He goes to Italy and begs the Volturi (vampire aristocracy) to kill him. The Volturi refuse Edward's requests.
Supernatural themes; suicidal behaviours
Although New Moon contains some violence, blood and gore are kept to a minimum. Examples of violence in the movie include the following:
- There is a radio report about some hikers who have gone missing and are presumed dead. We hear that other campers have been attacked and killed by a large bear-like creature.
- Edward talks about how he envies humans' ability to commit suicide, and gives the example of poison or a dagger to the heart.
- Several vampires restrain another vampire. One of the vampires grabs hold of the restrained vampire's face. He twists and pulls the vampire's head off while the other vampires rip the arms off. As the vampire is pulled apart, he appears to turn to stone and crumble to dust. There is no blood and gore.
- A vampire is known to be seeking revenge against Edward, intending to kill him.
- When Bella cuts her finger, Jasper lunges at her.
- Edward knocks Bella out of the way. She flies through the air, crashing down on a table and smashing glass. She gashes her arm, and the cut bleeds a lot.
- A fight breaks out between Edward and Jasper. Edward throws Jasper across the room and against a piano, which crashes to the ground. Several other vampires eventually subdue Jasper and drag him from the room.
- A man removes pieces of bloody glass from the wound on Bella's arm and places the pieces of glass in a bowl full of blood-stained water. He stitches up the wound, puts the bloody bandages in a bowl, and burns them.
- In a flashback image from the first Twilight movie, a vampire bites into Bella's wrist and blood pours from the wound. We see the scar that remains.
- Bella rides a trail bike recklessly and crashes it. She flips over the handle bars and hits her head on a rock. She ends up with a bloody gash on her head and blood running down her forehead.
- A vampire threatens to kill Bella, telling her that she is 'mouth watering'. The vampire tells Bella that another vampire wants to kill her slowly, but that he will do it quickly.
- Several werewolves chase after a vampire. The vampire backhands one of the werewolves, and the werewolf is thrown through the air.
- Bella slaps a man across the face. He gets angry, changes into a werewolf, and lunges at her. A second man changes into a werewolf and attacks the first werewolf. They snarl and tumble across the ground.
- A female vampire drops from a forest tree onto a man. She picks him up by the neck and holds him. A werewolf tackles the vampire and forces her to drop the man, who crumples to the ground. The woman runs away, chased by four werewolves. She escapes by jumping into the sea.
- Bella stands on a cliff and jumps into the ocean below. Massive waves crash into her, and she is knocked unconscious, sinking beneath the waves.
- A teenage vampire girl mutters the word 'pain' while focusing her attention on Edward. This causes him to twist up in pain and fall in a heap to the ground.
- Edward and another vampire fight violently. They slam each other into things, hurl each other through the air, and grab onto each other.
- A group of people is led into a room full of vampires. The implication is that they are going to be killed by the vampires. We hear terrified screams coming from the room.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes and images that could scare or disturb children under eight. For example:
- The movie features giant threatening werewolves with snarling teeth.
- Teenage boys change from humans to giant wolves.
- In several scenes, Bella wakes up from a nightmare screaming in terror.
- A wolf's glowing eyes peer though forest foliage. Animals growl in the background.
- Vampires have glowing red eyes.
- A woman has a badly disfigured face. We hear that her partner (a werewolf) caused the injury during an uncontrollable fit of rage.
- Edward appears in ghost-like inky black images.
- Vampires move with supernatural speed and fight with supernatural strength.
Some of the violent scenes and images mentioned above could also scare or disturb children in this age group.
Most children over 13 should be able to cope with the movie's scary images and supernatural themes. You might need to provide parental guidance in relation to the suicide theme.
This movie contains some sexual references. For example:
- Bella tells Jacob he is looking 'buff' for his age.
- Jasper says to Edward, 'You've got an older woman - hot'.
- Bella tells Edward that he will not want her when she is old and a grandmother.
- Bella jokes about dating a man who is over 100 years old (Edward). She says that it's gross.
- A bare-chested Jacob enters Bella's bedroom through her window. She touches his naked chest and runs her fingers through his hair. She asks him if he will run away with her. He says no and jumps out the window again.
- A teenage girl is told that she was lucky she wasn't probed by aliens. The comment has sexual connotations.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie contains some references to substance use. For example:
- Characters talk about Jacob taking anabolic steroids.
- Bella is described as an 'adrenalin junkie'.
- Men hold bottles of beer.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie contains some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Teenage girls wear tops that reveal a modest degree of cleavage.
- The movie often shows teenage boys with muscled bare chests.
- Several scenes show Edward and Bella kissing each other passionately on the lips and cuddling.
- Bella wakes up to find Edward sitting on the end of her bed watching her. He gently touches her face, and they kiss passionately on the lips.
The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Apple laptop computers, Volvos, Porsches and Virgin Airlines.
This movie contains some occasional low-level coarse language and mild name-calling.
Ideas to discuss with your children
New Moon is a supernatural thriller targeted at younger teenage girls. The movie focuses on Bella's heart break and how she responds to this. Kristen Stewart's performance stands out from the other cast members, including Robert Pattinson. With a running time of just over two hours, the movie does drag and fall flat in several places.
The main message from this movie is that love will survive any and all obstacles, if it is strong enough.
This movie could give you the chance to talk with your children about:
- Bella's extreme reaction to Edward leaving her
- the destructive behaviours and intentions of both Bella and Edward
- the effects of Bella's behaviour on other people
- other ways that Bella could have coped with the situation.