Yet another lacklustre creepy kid movie
Hooray, we’re back in creepy kid territory again! If you’re a fan of such movies as The Omen, Children Of The Corn, and Eli, you might be interested in this one as it features Elliot, a young boy who begins to exhibit some very strange behaviours during the course of this over-familiar horror movie.
He is one half of a set of twins – the other was supposedly killed in a car accident – and is the son of Rachel (Teresa Palmer) and Anthony (Steven Cree) who move with the young fellow to a small Finnish town to begin a new life together after experiencing the aforementioned tragedy.
Do they live happily ever after? No, of course they don’t. As I have already made reference to Elliot’s strange behaviour, it’s obvious that their life doesn’t get much better after they arrive at their new home. Weird things start to happen almost straight away, both in and out of the house for Rachel and her luckless family.
For starters, the rest of the townsfolk are a grim-looking bunch. This is less alarming for Anthony as he was originally born in the town but for Rachel, the prying eyes of her sinister neighbours at a party they attend are enough to give her a case of the heebie-jeebies.
Life at home isn’t very comfortable for Rachel either as she starts to have dark dreams about Nathan, her other son, and the horrific events that have surrounded her family. Her waking life is as much of a nightmare as not only does Elliot start to talk to an imagined version of his dead brother but he seemingly becomes possessed by him too. He then draws scary pictures that point to Rachel’s death!
The Twin is very much a horror movie we have seen before with its suspicious-looking townsfolk and possession theme. It’s like a cross between Midsommar and Rosemary’s Baby but comparisons can be made with lots of other movies, including those mentioned at the start of this review.
Is it any good? Not really, no. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any positives, however. Writer/director Taneli Mustonen manages to create a sense of the foreboding by using his camera in some very interesting ways and the music score is suitably ominous. Teresa Palmer, who is no stranger to horror after Warm Bodies and Lights Out, gives a riveting turn as the mother who thinks both her son and her neighbours are turning against her. And Tristan Ruggeri, the youngster who plays Elliot, gives a suitably chilling performance, even if it isn’t quite as good as that given by Harvey Stephens as the young Damian in The Omen.
Unfortunately, the movie falls apart because of the story. On the surface, it’s a horror film but underneath it’s also a drama about a woman falling apart because of her grief. The problem doesn’t lie with this mix of genres as other titles have merged the two, such as The Babadook and Hereditary, but The Twin doesn’t have a strong enough script to tie things together. There are far too many twists and turns to make this tale truly convincing and as these twists are sometimes illogical, it all becomes rather silly.
To reveal anything about the way the story unfolds would tip this review into spoiler territory so I’m not going to spoil any surprises here. But if you’re looking for a decent horror movie to watch, your time may be better served elsewhere. Yes, this movie seems to have everything you would ever want from a tale of this sort – possessed kids, haunted houses, pagan rituals, hallucinatory sequences, gruesome bloodletting – but it’s all a little too much with a less than satisfying payoff.
It’s a shame that this isn’t better than it is. The cinematography is sometimes top-notch, the director clearly has talent, and the story had a lot of promise. There’s even a jump scare that is reasonably well-executed. But with a muddled script that is overloaded with cliched dialogue, and a surprise ending that isn’t that much of a surprise, this has to be classified as a misfire.
If you do want to give this movie a go, despite its flaws, it is streaming on Shudder now. It’s not a complete waste of time due to the positives I have already mentioned. But if you want something that truly chills your bones, consider some of the other moves that have been mentioned in this article as titles such as Hereditary and The Omen do most of what The Twin does only a hundred times better.
Read More: The Twin Ending Explained
Verdict - 5/10