Watch CBS News

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.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.