A Hooked On Horror Review: The Twin
Updated: Jun 26
I caught up with the latest film to be released via horror streaming service Shudder- The Twin. I didn't know much about the film going into it, I had only just come across it on Shudder whilst looking for something to watch. After watching the trailer I figured I'd give it a go. From the look of it, The Twin followed in the current faze/trend at the moment with horror films- cults, sacrifice, possession. I can't be the only one that feels there has been a significant increase with these types of horror in the last few years, similar to that zombie phase the genre went through early 2000s. Was The Twin a decent addition to the new founded wave of cult/demonic horror films being released at the moment? For me yes, it was surprisingly different.
Every parent's worst nightmare is just the beginning for Rachel. In the aftermath of a tragic accident, she and her husband Anthony decide to move to the other side of the world to focus on their surviving twin son, Elliot. What begins as a time of healing and isolation in the Scandinavian countryside turns into a desperate battle for the very soul of their son as an entity claiming to be his dead twin brother takes over — setting Rachel on a diabolical journey to unravel the horrible truth about her twin son.
First off the film is beautifully shot, the long shots look stunning. The neutrality of the colours and lack of anything loud and vibrant adds so much to the mood, look and feel of the entire film. It's a very well thought out and executed bit of a detail that borderlines the aesthetic of a Tim Burton film. That said I was not originally enjoying it as much as I would have liked to. The film jumps and jolts round a lot, it appears rather confused and disjointed throughout the majority of the film. I felt sometimes like I had missed something or a pivotal scene got cut which is why I had no idea of how we got to this scene after what happened two minutes earlier.
I was originally going to write a pretty bad review for this film despite me enjoying certain elements to it, but when the story twists and director Taneli Mustonen gives us that big reveal the whole thing makes perfect sense. The accident in fact killed Rachel and Anthony's only son, not one half of twins but their only son. Rachel in fact invented the surviving twin Elliott as a coping mechanism following what appears to be a bad psychotic breakdown. The whole idea that Anthony was trying to sacrifice their only remaining child to a cult to get their other deceased son back, Nathan, is all in her head. The cult members that tried to take her away and take her child are in fact neighbours, friends and medical professionals trying to help her. T}hey were having martial problems which led to Anthony drinking the night of the accident, but it turns out she was the one driving with her being the one responsible for killing their only child.
It is an incredibly ballsy move from the film makers and one that well and truly pays off. Pardon my french but it's a major head-fuck. The disjointed, clunky, chaotic and somewhat random editing and story telling that plays out during the film is a mirror image of the complete and utter breakdown of Rachel's mental health. It''s a fantastic twist that I really didn't see coming at all. It makes for an even more tragic and upsetting ending when she refuses to believe her husband and chooses to kill him in order to save an imaginary child. The scene in which he explains it all and begs her to believe him is a real punch in the gut and heart-wrenching to watch. It ends on an even more unsettling note as she appears to have gotten away with his murder and goes to drive off into the sunset to enjoy her life with her husband Anthony and their Twins Elliott & Nathan....all in her head.
It's an incredibly unsettling film, but you really don't know why until those final few minutes. The cast was great, Teresa Palmer really stole the show for me though. You couldn't help but feel for her despite everything she had done. I'd definitely say this one is worth a watch, and although it might appear slow and difficult to keep up with at times just see it through as the pay off at the end is fantastic. Despite its flaws, The Twin makes for a very haunting and harrowing viewing experience that won't be forgotten anytime soon.