Friday, November 8, 2013

Film Review: Twixt (2012)

Twixt (Review)
United States/2012
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...but it was immensely entertaining and very engaging."

Has-been writer Hall Baltimore (Val Kilmer) stops at a small town for a book signing during his book tour. After some convincing from the town sheriff, Hall is drawn toward a murder mystery involving a young girl with a wooden stake through her chest...

Twixt continues with Hall entering dreamlike states to solve the murder mystery. In this dreamlike state, Hall meets a bizarre set of characters including a young girl, V (Elle Fanning), and even Edgar Allan Poe. I like the blend of reality, where Hall interacts with equally bizarre characters, and the surreal, which hypnotizes you with its style and content. The mystery is engaging, although some of it is unnecessarily confusing like the nonspecific timeline. Twixt ends on a somewhat confusing, but bloody note -- I'm talking gallons of blood; and, it's a note you can freely interpret.

As for horror, Twixt has an ominous, almost enchanting gothic tone. This isn't a traditional mainstream horror film -- you won't find torture or jump-scares. Instead, Twixt blends horror themes and an engaging mystery to create the gothic tones and atmosphere of the film. Expect many Edgar Allan Poe references, vampires, satanic cults, and death. The film has some subtle symbolism and I believe much of the film, especially it's ending, is open for interpretation; in my opinion, it can mean one of two things, but im sure you'll find plenty of possibilities. Above all, it's more like a mystery film with excellent horror themes -- definitely something different.

Val Kilmer is great as the lead, he's very versatile and I really enjoyed his impersonations -- definitely an underrated star. Elle Fanning is also good, but she has limited screen time. The rest of the acting is competent enough, definitely enjoyable but not demanding. The art style is fantastic, I love the contrasting colors during the dream sequences. However, some of the special effects and sets feel cheap and out of place. The soundtrack is also enchanting, and adds to the folklore vibe and gothic tones of the film. Francis Ford Coppola has great writing and direction during most of the film, although it could use some tightening.

Overall, I enjoyed Twixt. It has quite a few flaws, but it was immensely entertaining and very engaging. The style may seem to artsy for some, but I felt it added to the film's engagement factor -- it was occasionally hypnotizing. Remember, though, it's a low-budget independent arthouse horror film -- don't expect something like The Conjuring.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood.

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