The latest film in the Twilight franchise, Breaking Dawn Part 1, is actually sending viewers to the hospital. Oddly enough, the cause isn’t Kirsten Stewart’s painful lack of acting skills or Jacob’s swoon-worthy abs – but the big bad (and disgusting) birthing scene.
According to reports, the scene in Breaking Dawn where Bella gives birth to her vampire baby has been triggering seizures in theaters nationwide. Apparently, the birthing scene involves a strobe effect with flashes of red, white and black light that triggers a very bad reaction in epileptics. So far there have been at least 9 reported instances of people suffering seizures during this scene.
Officials at the Maryland-based Epilepsy Foundation issued a warning to over 11,000 of their followers on Facebook, saying people prone to certain types of seizures may want to skip the film for their safety.
“If you were parents of a child with epilepsy, you would not send your child to the movie,” says Mimi Carter, the foundation’s director of communications. “Why would you risk it?”
Zach Pine, A retired physician in California, began documenting cases after his 18-year-old son, who had never had a seizure, suffered one during Breaking Dawn. He lists nine reported instances.
Susceptible people suffer from what’s known as photosensitivity, a stimulus-induced seizure disorder. While epilepsy is a fairly uncommon disorder – about 3 million Americans have it – photosensitivity is even rarer, occurring in only 3% of those with epilepsy.
According to Dr. Tricia Ting, an assistant professor of neurology at University of Maryland School of Medicine, people with this disorder don’t usually realize they have it until they suffer a seizure. “They may have gone their whole lives without having a seizure, but in this circumstance, when presented with a flickering light, it can induce their first seizure.”
So Dear Readers, if you have epilepsy you should probably pass on this film. Just in case.