The Twin Review

PLOT: After the death of one of their twin children, a couple (Teresa Palmer and Steven Cree) moves out into the countryside for healing. But what they find is something much more sinister.

REVIEW: One of the more intriguing aspects of The Twin is the mystery behind the plot itself. The tagline of “Evil Only A Mother Could Love” could go so many ways, and the movie plays with the mystery for so long that it starts to feel unique. Is it possession? A cult? The devil himself? Unfortunately, being unique doesn’t always result in a great product.

The death of a child usually makes for dark subject matter. But thankfully The Twin doesn’t drown you in sorrow for its entire runtime. Instead, we’re given a mystery that appears to take a supernatural route, then flips everything on its head. When Rachel and her husband Anthony go to the countryside to grieve, you’re understanding of their decision. But by the end, it’s easy to question how they got there in the first place.

Teresa Palmer grips tightly onto her child in The Twin (2022).

Teresa Palmer (who I’ll always remember from the severely underrated Lights Out) does a fantastic job portraying a grieving mother. Her character goes through so many different tragedies and she’s the reason I was along for the ride. But she’s constantly at battle with the story, which has some questionable twists and turns. And keep a keen ear for her Australian accent, as it slips through occasionally.

Unfortunately, The Twin is really hampered by the performance by Cree. Playing Rachel’s husband Anthony, he comes across as extremely stiff. The fact that he’s playing across from Palmer, who is absolutely knocking it out of the park, makes him stick out like a sore thumb. Tristan Ruggeri, who had played young Geralt in the recent season of The Witcher, does a decent enough job as the surviving twin, Elliot.

I was honestly surprised at the number of funny moments in the film, intentional and otherwise. There’s a moment where Rachel finds Elliot playing, seemingly, by himself. He just casually stands up, walks over to her, and shuts the door in her face. Then there’s more of the mistake side, like a bevy of takes where it is obvious that Palmer is pregnant in real life. These moments of levity help break up the mystery element, which can really drag on. In fact, make that last one a drinking game and you’re looking at a brown-out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3UhHDItvMg

Most of the supernatural element of the film comes from these various dream sequences that Rachel is having. These are where 90% of the horror comes from but, honestly, there’s not much terror here. While these dreams (nightmares?) may be frequent, they rarely pack any punch. They come and go with little consequence, and mostly follow tired clichés.

The writers also make the strange decision to set the film pre-9/11, and signal it by showing the Twin Towers in the background of a shot. I kept waiting for the time period to be brought up, or be relevant to the story, but it never is. Appears to be a classless attempt to signal the title again.

The Twin is the first English film by Finnish director Taneli Mustonen (Lake Bodom, The Renovation). The movie looks really nice but the performances and pacing leave a lot to be desired. And why was this set in New York? They very clearly filmed in Europe, as evidenced by the license plates and cars. So it just adds to the many baffling choices made here.

Teresa Palmer stars as a grieving mother in The Twin (2022).

There’s a moment that literally made me shout “Jesus Christ!” in surprise, so I always count that as a positive when it comes to horror. But that’s all it is: a surprise that is then quickly negated. There is a twist, that I certainly won’t spoil here, but it ties the film together nicely. Whether that’s in a good or so bad its good way, you’ll have to decide for yourself.

There isn’t a ton to latch onto when it comes to The Twin. A good performance from its lead aside, the story feels very generic and by the numbers. Rarely is there a moment of surprise, and they rely on the dream sequences too much to try and add that element. When they finally pull the trigger on something substantial, it then negates the one thing the film had going for it: Palmer’s performance. That takes this film from okay to disappointing.

The Twin is available to stream on SHUDDER on May 6th, 2022.

Teresa Palmer stars as a mother who's lost one of her twins in a tragic accident. But the mystery of what happens after, is even more tragic.

Teresa Palmer

BELOW AVERAGE

5

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

233 Articles Published

Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on JoBlo.com, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.