'Twilight: Breaking Dawn' Causing Seizures in U.S. Moviegoers

Breaking Dawn Stewart Pattinson Indoors - H 2011
Summit Entertainment

Breaking Dawn Stewart Pattinson Indoors - H 2011

The penultimate film's birthing scene could have triggered episodes of photosensitive epilepsy, medical experts say.

The penultimate film in Summit Entertainment's Twilight franchise nearly matched the box office brawn of New Moon in its opening weekend, but just one week after Breaking Dawn Part 1 was released in theaters reports are surfacing that it has been causing seizures.

A California man, Brandon Gephart, was reportedly rushed to the hospital after getting sick while watching Breaking Dawn's birth scene. The screening ended when paramedics arrived to help Gephart.

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"He was convulsing, snorting, trying to breathe," Gephart's girlfriend Kelly Bauman told CBS Sacramento. "He scared me big time." 

Gephart admitted that he has no interest in seeing how the movie ends.

A Salt Lake City man also suffered a similar seizure while watching Breaking Dawn, ABC4 reports.

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"I didn't really remember what happened after that," he said. "I think I blacked out. According to [my wife] I was shaking and mumbling different noises."

His wife explained further: "I was kneeling in front of him and slapping his face." The man's name was not given because he was afraid he would lose his job.

Breaking Dawn features Bella's violent pregnancy of her child with her significant other, vampire Edward.

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"Bella turns pale and gaunt and seems in danger of wasting away; it appears the fetus is taking all of the nutrients for itself and leaving nothing for Mom, who can no longer eat normal food," writes THR's chief film critic Todd McCarthy.

Medical experts said that the film's birth scene -- which features red, white and black images -- could have triggered episodes of photosensitive epilepsy.

"It's like a light going off because it hits your brain all at once," Dr. Michael G. Chez tells CBS Sacramento. "The trouble with theaters is that they're so dark, the light flashing in there is more like a strobe light."

This isn't the first instance of a film causing moviegoers to feel uncomfortable. During screenings of Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, which tells the story of climber Aron Ralston whose arm is trapped by a boulder in a Utah canyon, it has caused some moviegoers to vomit and faint, with one taken out of the theater and an ambulance called.