Panic! At The Movies: An Emo Top 10 Watchlist

3. Twilight (2008)

Best Twilight Movie

Remember when the hardest decision you faced was to choose between Team Edward and Team Jacob?

It was a different and less complicated time.

Edward and Bella’s dark and moody tale of forbidden teenage romance reinvented the acknowledged classical image of vampires. Formally, blood-drinking creatures of the night were ancient, gothic monsters cutting around in medieval capes, but the vampires in Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight had received quite the upgrade. The Cullens were in vogue and proved to audiences everywhere that the living dead could be both sexy and fashionable. This vampiric advancement captured the attention of emo kids worldwide, and the Twilight fandom reached obsessive levels of commitment. Yet, it wasn’t just the buff, glittering vampires with their perfectly styled hairdos that captured the attention of emos, the film also pandered to the counterculture with its exceptional soundtrack, featuring such beloved bands as Paramore, Muse and Linkin Park. 

The film’s dull aesthetic and the cast’s stunted ability to maintain natural conversation with one another struck a chord within the emo community. Every conversation between the clumsy and awkward heroine Bella Swan and her sullen, blood-craving boyfriend was ridged and pained. Our protagonists seemed uncomfortable in their own skin, and so, even though they were living out a mythical melodrama, Edward and Bella were relatable to your average emo kid.

Twilight is always good for a revisit and continues to age like a fine wine. It’s good for goofy one-liners such as ‘You’d better hold on spider monkey’ and intense repressed sexual desire. It has a genuine heart and stable tension alongside remarkable early performances from Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson before they blossomed into darlings of independent film.

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4. Donnie Darko (2001)

Richard Young’s Donnie Darko has found popularity with an assortment of alternative audiences and did not escape the attention of sad-eyed emo kids.

Nightmares intermingle with the sleepy monotony of high school as a young psychologically disturbed man sees visions of a huge satanic bunny rabbit, who predicts that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds.

The film is a gloomy, satirical commentary on the misery of existence, and captures the exact essence of what emo was all about.

Never forget Jake Gyllenhaal’s emo phase.

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5. Juno (2007)

Nothing screams emo more than being hit with the overwhelming responsibilities of adulthood before you are ready to cope with them.

Although Juno didn’t participate in the recognisable emo aesthetic, there was something in Juno MacGuff’s (Ellen Page’s) blunt, no-nonsense attitude that appealed to the dark-haired legion of alternative rockers.

The film deals with the immensely awkward and miserable experience of falling in love for the first time, and the ups and downs of teenage pregnancy. Unable to express how she is feeling, Juno coasts by on her jarring charisma and boundary-pushing humour. She falls pregnant after sleeping with a skinny, awkward boy by the name of Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera), and life starts to come at her fast. The unplanned baby, with its rapidly growing fingernails, forces Juno to make some tough decisions and put her goofy adolescent life on pause.

Juno finds herself in the middle of the domestic troubles of the would-be adoptive parents of her unborn child. Their crumbling domestic bliss helps Juno to realise that life hardly ever goes as planned and that she should probably start to enjoy the wacky family and the awkward boyfriend she has. Juno acts as a how-to guide when it comes to finding the good in your foolish mistakes.

*If you didn’t want to buy a hamburger phone after watching this film then I really don’t know how to help you.

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