Movie Review: Twixt
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Arthouse Horror is arthouse.
I grabbed Francis Ford Coppola’s Twist thinking I could at least see how the other half – what being those that make money not writing horror – view the genre. Clearly, it’s not much, since everything about this film speaks to lazy writing, tired ideas, and a disdain for the those who want to scratch out a living.
Val Kilmer is a struggling writer (he writes witch books, but now wants to write something different – like vampire books) doing the thing all writers have to face at some point – smiling and looking engaging at a sparsely attend book signing in a local hardware store in a small town. We’ve all been there. When he’s not selling books out of the back of his car, he becomes interested in the recent murder of a young girl and somehow does the thing writers should never do – agree to collaborate on a story with the local sheriff who names his sluething methods after himself.
Because all writers are fundamentally broken and speaking from a place of trauma and guilt, throw in a dead daughter, frustrated wife on the verge of Walking Out Forever, and lots and lots of booze, you have “How Those Writer People Spend Time Between Books”.
Along the way, he gets drunk (a lot), confabs with Edgar Allen Poe, who once stayed in the same small town, and briefly makes an acquaintance with the local group of vampirish goths. Where those kids get so much black and discarded carnival silk in a small town where the Sheriff’s Office is closed on Sunday (yet the deputy sleeps there) is a question you’ll have to ask Coppola.
I can’t even say this film is pretty because it looks like a NYU student trying to be noir and edgy and verbose. Alternately monochrome with spashes of red, and modernday sashed out, it’s like Coppola saw his 1992 version of Dracula and wanted to re-create it, but with Poe, and goth kids and the Sheriff from Stephen King’s Misery. I can picture after the first screening Copolla having to explain the last third, and all of the Coppola sycophants nodding and agreeing like they have any idea. They probably praised his use of Skype as an element of disconnect, which really came off as someone who learned how to use Skype that just that year.
Copola apologists will say different, but the film feels pretentious – as if he needed to get something on film before his agent would give him any more money (like the main character) and he took a bunch of pills had a crazy dream, and held a bunch of people at gunpoint until the movie was complete. It feels like a film student trying too hard to be Coppola and I wanted it to get better for Val Kilmer’s sake. Yes, some parts were amusing, and as a writer I could sympathize with Baltimore’s struggles to not be a struggling writer struck in rut, but when to story takes the hard left with imagery, metaphor and theme (because when I sit down with Poe’s visage in a dream, I definitely want to go over the basics of literature compostition) Coppola gets lost in his own head and makes the mistake film students would be wise to avoid – not letting the audience in on what it all really means.
Twist is beautiful, but even under the hues of soft reds and muted silvers, it’s still a turd.
1 – Wow Factor – more like “Wow, I;m rolling my eyes so much they’re picking up dust bunnies from beneath the couch”.
2 – WanderLust – It took em three tries over 4 weeks to finish this movie.
3 – Rewind –
4 – Recommend – No. Never.
5 – (Fingerprints + (Twist to Scream + the backstory of Nightmare On Elm Street)) – Any Film With An Ending = Munger Road
6 – Netflix Rating – One Stars, because there is no Zero Star rating