Nothing reminds us of our mortality quite like the rapid passage of time, especially when regarding the anniversary of a pop-culture phenomenon - in this case, the moment tweens and teens became even more obsessed with a certain set of brooding immortals.
Wednesday marks a full decade since the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" hit theatres, launching a multibillion-dollar vampire movie franchise and practically flinging its stars into the spotlight.
For all its flaws - Bella's unhealthy obsession with her controlling boyfriend, for one - "Twilight" and its sequels had quite the cultural impact, which we shall revisit below. You'd better hold on tight, spider monkeys...
Put Kirsten Stewart and Robert Pattinson on the map
Before "Twilight," Stewart would probably have been recognised as the kid to be caught in "Catch That Kid" or Jodie Foster's diabetic daughter in "Panic Room." Pattinson had appeared in another franchise a few years earlier when he played Cedric Diggory in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," which he told the Evening Standard led to "bags of letters from angry fans telling me that I can't possibly play Edward because I'm Diggory."
With the heyday of "Twilight" behind them, Stewart and Pattinson have blossomed into proper indie stars. Stewart has been lauded for her performances in films such as "Personal Shopper," "Still Alice" and "Cloud of Sils Maria," the last of which landed her a César Award, the French equivalent of an Oscar. Pattinson also starred in a few successful projects, such as "The Lost City of Z," but earned the most praise from critics (and Pete Davidson) for his transformative role in last year's "Good Time."
And opened doors for Oscar-nominee, Anna Kendrick
Fans of the movie musical "Camp" will tell you that Anna Kendrick got her on-screen start in 2003, playing the dangerously ambitious Fritzi Wagner. But she rose to prominence - before officially breaking through with 2009′s "Up in the Air" - as Bella's friend Jessica, who is as bubbly as Bella is sullen. The Boston Globe's Ty Burr singled Kendrick out as the strongest performer among Bella's "nicely unkempt" friends.
In her memoir "Scrappy Little Nobody," released two years ago, Kendrick looked back at her Twilight years. She wrote that she got to experience "all the fun with none of the consequences," probably referring to Pattinson, Stewart and co-star Taylor Lautner's overwhelming level of fame.
Watched "Twilight" too many times? How about "True Blood"? "The Vampire Diaries"? "The Originals"?
While we are in no way crediting the series with introducing vampires to Hollywood - Dracula and Buffy would scoff! - it's hard to deny the impact its popularity had on teen-oriented programming. Bloodsuckers popped up and thrived all over, including in the genuinely bad "Twilight" parody called "Vampires Suck."
Fifty Shades Trilogy
The Fifty Shades franchise is carried by pretty good actors forced to say very bad lines, so it shouldn't surprise you to learn that its source material, "Fifty Shades of Grey," began as "Twilight" fan fiction. Forbes reported last year that the premise of E.L. James' erotic fan fiction, called "Master of the Universe" and posted on Fanfiction.net in 2009, was as follows: "Bella Swan is drafted in to interview the reclusive enigmatic Edward Cullen, multimillionaire CEO of his company. It's an encounter that will change her life irrevocably, leading her to the dark realms of desire."
James removed all references to Edward and Bella to publish her book and, according to Forbes, became "the most commercially successful fanfiction author of all time." Wowza.Washington Post