You may be shocked to discover that Twixt is not a movie about a killer pair of twin chocolate bars but in fact the latest film by legendary director Francis Ford Coppola the man who made Apocalypse Now and Godfather I and II.
Rather than a big budget Hollywood blockbuster horror however Twixt is a small low budget movie written by Coppola who claims the story “grew out of a dream” he had which on reflection was “more of a nightmare.”
The story follows writer Hall Baltimore (the marvellous yet maligned Val Kilmer) who is down on his luck and far from the best selling horror author he once was, now stuck in a rural one horse town at a book signing in a hardware store.
Things take a turn to the strange however when Baltimore meets the local Sheriff Bobby LaGrange (Bruce Dern) a colourful character who is desperate to collaborate with him on a book.
Revealing some of the bloody and barmy legends on the town which include a mass murder, a clock with seven faces all of which are wrong and a group of Goth’s camped out who may in fact be vampires Baltimore is intrigued and smelling a story decides to stay and investigate.
However nothing can prepare him for what happens when he meets a mysterious girl named V (Super 8’s Elle Fanning) and starts to see things way beyond his expectations or imagination.
Blending the Gothic work and imagery of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe, who in fact turns up in the film played by Ben Chaplin, and the strange black comedy quirkiness of TV shows like Twin Peaks and Eerie, Indiana Twixt is a oddity all of its own.
Containing elements of horror, thriller, murder and fantasy it is a fascinating film that although sometimes makes little sense is intriguing throughout nevertheless. The story in Twixt jumps betwixt two worlds, that of Baltimore’s conscious and unconscious mind where people, time, themes and motifs blend and reality is warped creating a freaky story which is not necessarily scary but is most certainly unsettling and in the rich bloody macabre vain of classic horror.
The cast is top notch with Caplin and Fanning joined by Kilmer’s ex-wife Joanne Whalley and up and coming actor Alden Ehrenreich, last seen in Stoker, as Flamingo the beguiling leader of the Goth’s over the lake.
Veteran Dern is eccentrically excellent as Bobby LaGrange and Kilmer, an actor always underrated in my humble opinion, infuses his washed up writer with just enough pathos to balance out his selfish streak.
On the downside the low budget does make for some less than impressive special effects that would look more at home in a 90’s computer game than in a movie however the scope of Coppola’s vision far exceeds the CGI and the movie manages to have a wonderful dreamlike quality using stylized and strangely coloured shots, crazy sets and odd imagery.
In Twixt Coppola has created an extremely personal movie that although flawed is engaging, innovative and interesting and in many ways a cult curio all of its own. Much like its name Twixt is a curious film and because of this it is a film well worth watching.