Twilight Club provides creative and nostalgic outlet for students

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Kristen Stewart, left, and Robert Pattinson in “Twilight.” (Imprint Entertainment/Maverick Films/Summit Entertainment/Zuma Press/TNS)

A new club at Ohio State is bringing “The Twilight Saga” — author Stephenie Meyer’s young adult vampire romance series — back from the 2010s franchise graveyard.

Twilight Club’s first and only meeting was held Nov. 19, but the organization is planning to have recurring meetings come spring semester — the first of which is scheduled for Jan. 14. 2024, at 7 p.m. — co-President Georgia Nielsen said. Nielsen, also a second-year in art management and moving image production, said the club was born out of undying love for the franchise.

“I have always been a big fan of ‘The Twilight Saga’ ever since I was a little girl because of my mom,” Nielsen said. “As I got older, my love for the movies never went away. I would always talk to my mom and friends about the movies and then this summer, I read the books.”

Nielsen said the moody essence of “Twilight” is what initially drew her to the movies and made her a fan. She said the supernatural love story — which is set against the rainy backdrop of Forks, Washington — possesses a distinct melancholic charm that is difficult to replicate.

“The biggest reason why I love Twilight is the atmosphere of the movies,” Nielsen said. “The soundtracks in all of the ‘Twilight’ movies are perfect and I truly believe that the soundtrack is the best part of the movies.”

Megan Malloy, co-president of Twilight Club and a second-year in health sciences, said continued appreciation for the franchise partially stems from its unintentional humor, which is especially apparent to modern-day viewers.

“A couple of years ago, I started watching the movies again and I just really liked them,” Malloy said. “I love the music in them and I just think the movies are funny and stupid.”

Because the “Twilight” films have bounced back and forth between different streaming services over the past few years, Nielsen said starting the club felt sufficiently natural.

“In the past few years, I noticed that ‘Twilight’ was becoming relevant on social media again, and more people were talking about the movies and making jokes about how weird Edward and Bella are,” Nielsen said, “I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for students who also grew up watching the movies, or have never seen the movies, to be able to watch and discuss them now that we’re older.”

Nielsen said she and Malloy were worried a “Twilight”-themed club might already exist in some capacity on campus, but were thrilled to discover the premise was unclaimed.

“I [think] Megan just brought it up and said, ‘What if we started the Twilight Club? That’d be fun,’” Nielsen said. “Then we thought, ‘There’s definitely a Twilight Club on this campus.’ Come to find out, there wasn’t. Then, we had a ton of fun thinking about event ideas that could happen, which hopefully will come into fruition over the next few semesters.”

Malloy said the club’s leaders aim to provide a welcoming space in which students can temporarily escape from their everyday stressors.

“Right now, the goal is to create a community for people to get together, and get away from schoolwork and get away from their dorm,” Malloy said. “People can come with their friends, watch the movies and have fun. We’re also hoping to do trivia nights, crafts, watch the parody ‘Twilight’ movie and maybe do debates over Edward and Jacob, which I think would be funny.”

The Twilight Club is aiming to meet biweekly in the spring, functioning as a casual form of social engagement, Malloy and Nielsen said.

“We [want] this to be surface level, and to be very fun and noncommittal,” Nielsen said. “We’re hoping to get a lot of the student body into it, but not be something that you have to stress about at all.”

While Twilight Club is informal in nature, Malloy said its founding members want to incorporate educational and service opportunities into future group gatherings.

“One of our goals is to have a blood drive because ‘Twilight’ has vampires and blood,” Malloy said. “We were also interested in making blankets while watching a movie and donating the blankets to a dog shelter or homeless shelter.”

Additionally, Malloy said the club will analyze some of “Twilight’s” flawed relationship dynamics through a more contemporary lens.

“Another goal was to have a guest speaker come in and talk about relationships, and what a healthy relationship looks like versus a not-so-healthy relationship, because there’s a lot of bad relationship concepts that go on throughout the books and movies and we thought that was important to talk about,” Malloy said.

Nielsen said she hopes Twilight Club can successfully contextualize the cultural effects “Twilight” has on past and present audiences, for better or for worse.

“We definitely saw the potential for there to be a conversation over the deeper meaning and context within the films, especially because even though ‘Twilight’ is fun, there’s parts where it’s problematic or there’s a lot of deeper themes that should be explored — and have been explored — since the books have been released,” Nielsen said. “We hope to provide the opportunity to have those lighthearted moments, but then also a little bit deeper and more important conversations.”

More information about Ohio State’s Twilight Club can be found on its Ohio State Student Organization webpage or Instagram page .

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