Perhaps oddly for a film featuring the undead, there’s a strong Right to Life message. When it comes to her half-human/half-vampire offspring Bella is determined to deliver, even if it means drinking blood (through a straw) or giving her life for that of her unborn child.

At its heart, Breaking Dawn Part I is about more than deathless romance or demon babies. It’s a tribute to one of our most basic desires: the need to belong. The vampires may drink blood to survive, but when Bella’s life is threatened, they close ranks to protect her even if it means going hungry themselves—because she’s family. (At this point she’s also technically a potential food source, which makes the sacrifice all the more touching.) Even the werewolf siblings bemoan their need to “imprint” on someone else. The craving for connection is at least as powerful as a vampire’s urge to drink blood.

FYI, if parents are concerned the honeymoon will stir up raging hormones, the childbirth scene should serve as a deterrent. If the sound of breaking bones, the sight of an amateur emergency C-section, and copious quantities of blood are not bad enough, the sight of someone licking their lips over a bloody scalpel is vile. Actually, quite a bit of the film is disturbing, blood-soaked, violent, and downright unpleasant. But the talking wolves? That was just lame.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Champagne served at wedding where Bella’s dad announces he “plans on getting drunk,” drinking on the street, ‘to-go’ cups of blood for the expectant mom.
  • Language/Profanity: He**, da**.
  • Sex/Nudity: A significant portion of the film is devoted to the honeymoon and Edward and Bella’s sexual encounters (all post-wedding). Little is left to the imagination; the naked couple is seen embracing and engaging in sex (although specific body parts are generally obscured). They destroy a bed in the process. In addition, there is conversation about sex, virginity, and the expected effect of a human mating with a vampire.
  • Violence: It’s a violent film. Murders, fights, and blood (a lot of blood) are shown, including piles of bloody bodies and bloodstained clothing. Violent sex implied by the bruises left on Bella’s body. Bella and Edward’s unborn child is shown inside Bella’s body wreaking havoc on mom’s bones. Werewolf scenes are filled with violence against vampires and each other, including hand-to-hand combat. We’re treated to several scenes inside Bella’s circulatory system that may prove disturbing. She has to drink blood (through a straw) to stay alive and it sticks to her lips and teeth. The childbirth scene is intense, filled with incisions, breaking bones (both sights and sounds), biting, and a syringe stabbed directly into the heart.
  • Spiritual Concerns: All things considered, this entire film is a spiritual concern. During a frenzied run, Jacob hears voices that may be memories but are certainly creepy. A woman who appears to have some sort of psychic ability calls Edward a demon. Edward can read minds and his ‘sister’ has a limited ability to see into the future. Edward pulls up disturbing images online while doing research on what sort of creature his spawn may turn out to be. The child is referred to as a demon, a “thing,” and several other disturbing terms. Bella lies to her father to hide her pregnancy; he jokingly asks if Edward “still walks on water.” Although married to Edward, Bella tells Jacob it “feels complete” when he’s around; it seems to be a sort of emotional ménage a trois. And of course, there’s that whole vampire/werewolf thing.