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John’s Horror Corner: The Twin (2022), one part tense family therapy, one part Scandinavian folk horror.

May 23, 2022

MY CALL:  This was decent. I’m very apprehensive of Netflix and Shudder originals, and this was by no means great. But it was pretty good—creepy, emotionally uncomfortable, well made and it held great atmosphere with a satisfying ending.  MORE MOVIES LIKE The TwinFor more “family therapy” horror, go for Relic (2020), The Dark and the Wicked (2020), The Lodge (2019), Hereditary (2018), Pyewacket (2017), The Witch (2016), Goodnight Mommy (2014), The Babadook (2014), The Uninvited (2009), The Good Son (1993), Pet Sematary (1989) and The Stepfather (1987).

Grief stricken after the tragic loss of their son, Rachel (Teresa Palmer; Lights Out, Warm Bodies, The Grudge 2) and Anthony (Steven Cree; The Awakening, A Discovery of Witches) move with their surviving twin son across the world to Finland in hopes of escaping everything that reminds them of their loss. Everything, except their surviving son Elliot (Tristan Ruggeri; The Witcher).

Elliot and his father find optimism and hope in their new land. But Rachel remains mostly broken, wearing a weak veil of potential Babadookery. A former rectory, their home is huge and gorgeous, on a stunning plot of pristine land.

As soon as they move into their home, Elliot wants another bed in his room for his (deceased) brother. When Elliot makes a wish based on the local Scandinavian folklore, he starts talking to himself while playing in his room. Sure, innocent enough. But a local woman (Barbara Marten; The Turning) warns Rachel about an all-too credible dream she had and the townsfolk throw them a welcome festival that smacks of a Pagan rite. Then as they adapt to their new life, Elliot is behaving ever more strangely.

Themes of grief and guilt run strong while folk horror vibes tickle my expectations. Some scenes of parent-to-child directed anger (and vice versa) are mildly challenging to watch, but nothing like Hereditary (2018), Goodnight Mommy (2014) or The Babadook (2014).

Truly, this film is very capably made, well-acted, and gorgeously shot. However, the majority of the film is a very basic connect-the-dotting between one familiar trope after another. Thankfully, the final act brings to the table a couple less familiar turns that lead to some very satisfying scenes and revelations. So I’d say director and co-writer Taneli Mustonen (Lake Bodom) has fared well. This was entertaining. Not great. But pretty good.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2022 9:44 am

    Sounds like it might be good enough to check out.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      June 20, 2022 1:42 pm

      I call it a low priority recommendation, best suited for a rainy lazy Sunday afternoon rather than a Friday not event.

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