Light Effects In Latest ‘Twilight’ Movie Causing Epileptic Seizures In Viewers

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Is a popular movie making people sick? That’s the claim about the latest installment in the “Twilight” series. One scene has apparently triggered a severe reaction– people going into a seizure.

Mary Bubala has the story.

It’s the scene of Bella giving birth in the latest “Twilight” blockbuster that’s triggered seizures in at least nine people at movie theaters across the nation.

During a scene from “Breaking Dawn,” a strobe effect with flashes of white, red and black light is so intense, it sent Brandon Gephart into convulsions, something he’s never experienced before. He doesn’t remember it but his girlfriend does.

“Convulsing and snorting, and trying to breathe,” he explained.

Doctors meeting in Baltimore this week for the National Conference of the American Epilepsy Society say people who are disturbed by light exposure do not necessarily have epilepsy. Many are just photo-sensitive.

“A common example is when you are driving down the highway and the light, the sunlight, is flashing through the trees, so you get this repetitive stimulus that’s very bright against kind of a dark contrast and that can induce seizures in people who have, what we call, photo-sensitivity,” Dr. Brien Smith, chairman of the Epilepsy Foundation, said.

Doctors say if you find yourself having a reaction in a movie, there is something you can do immediately.

If you feel too weak to get up and walk out, do this: “Cover one eye a lot of times,” Smith said. “A lot of times, covering one eye will take away the more significant effect that could lead onto a seizure.”

The Maryland-based Epilepsy Foundation has issued a warning about the “Twilight” movie saying people prone to certain types of seizures may want to skip the movie.

More from Mary Bubala
  • ZachBreakingDawn

    My son also had a seizure during this scene.
    If you or someone you know had a seizure during the movie, you can help us all in this way:
    Go to the recent Baltimore Sun article on the topic (google these words to find it: baltimore sun breaking dawn seizures) , then look at the first comment to the article. It lists a page where cases are being collected, and a facebook page also.

    I can’t post the links here because this website doesn’t allow links in comments.

    More details of cases in one place will help neurologists to treat and give advice to affected people.


  • crazy!

    Yeah, give advice to affected people my a$$! This information is being collected for a lawsuit against the film producer

  • l. jackson

    My daughter passed out twice last night as she watched this movie. She is only 14 years old. She had trouble breathing and stood up walking towards the theatre doors and an attendant found her face down. As she came to, he helped her up and she passed out again. He tried to prevent this. The theatre did not call us, the parents, and let her walk out after hitting her head twice. We took her to the ER and she has a concussion. She has no history of siesures. She felt nauseous, light headed dizzy and had to get up out of her seat to get away from the lights. She passed out as she tried to reach the lobby. However, the theatre let her leave with her friends without contacting her parents after they knew she passed out. They said they didn’t realize she hit her head. If a child blacks out twice and is found face down and then passed out again in front of the attendant – how could they not have known she hit her head? Good thin is that she is OK and resting with a severe headache. Theatres need to learn how to handle this better.

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