THE TWIN (2022)
Directed by Taneli Mustonen
A Shudder Original
Available on digital, DVD and Blu-Ray
A couple and their son Elliot move to Finland following the death of Elliot’s twin, Nathan. After her son makes a wish at a nearby sacred spot, mother Rachel begins to suspect Elliot is not Elliot at all, and that his dead twin brother Nathan may be trying to get through to the land of the living.
As a paranormal horror thriller, THE TWIN starts off intriguingly enough but quickly falls apart thanks to clunky narrative and awkward editing which sees its characters in one place at one moment and somewhere else completely in the next. I thought that this might just be early teething problems but unfortunately throughout its near 110 minute running time, the film never really sucks you into its story enough to care. Like a car that has to stop at the traffic lights every 30 seconds, the story never seems to get going and loses momentum before it’s even started. This isn’t helped by the fact that we don’t get to know the characters much. So little time is spent developing the characters that we don’t really care whether or not Elliot may be in fact Elliot or someone else, nor do we get the idea this is a loving family at all with much of the focus on Rachel and her worries.
When Rachel (teresa Palmer) and her husband Anthony (Steven Cree) first arrive in Finland, Anthony’s homeland, there’s a flicker of curiosity due to the reception they get. The villagers, most of whom seem to be pensioners, are quite a weird bunch, all silent and staring as though they’re quietly plotting something for the new arrivals. Whilst this aspect is explored further, it appears shoe-horned in and doesn’t quite fit into the narrative. It ends up being something that conjures up more questions than it answers, along with another character named Helen (Barbara Marten) who’s introduced early on in the film and is often the scene stealer being the charismatic character.
The relationship between Rachel and her son Elliot is again a strange one to observe. One minute Elliot seems like a child who loves his mum dearly, but then the next he does something quite upsetting or wicked to her, to only be back in her good books again in the next scene. This uneven feeling is experienced throughout the entirety of the movie and whilst there are narrative reasons which can go to explain elements of this, it doesn’t excuse the entire thing. From one moment to the next, I didn’t quite understand where in the story I was up to and I found the whole thing a bit disorienting.
As much as I tried to enjoy THE TWIN, it leaves a lot to be desired. Some elements of the plot works, but it fails to have the impact it’s looking for so when the conclusion finally arrives, it doesn’t hit quite like it should.