Twixt (2012)


The Clocks are Set Incorrectly … BECAUSE OF EVIL!

Twixt (2012)I saw a movie on the shelf of the local DVD store that caught my attention.  It was in the Horror section, so I made a mental note of it as a potential for the October Horrorthon.  I also found myself interested in it because it included three things that I have liked in the past.  The writer/director of this movie is a highly acclaimed man, and two of the stars of the movie have both been in some great movies.  But why had I heard nothing of this movie?  It seems like the writer/director alone should have made this movie blip on my radar.  Well maybe I’ll figure out why as I review Twixt, written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and starring Val Kilmer, Elle Fanning, Bruce Dern, Ben Chaplin, Alden Ehrenreich, Don Novello, David Paymer, and Joanne Whalley.

Writer Hall Baltimore (Val Kilmer) goes to a small town on a book signing, but finds that he can’t even talk people into being interested in his presence.  Local Sheriff Bobby LaGrange (Bruce Dern) eventually comes to the signing to attempt to enlist Baltimore to read his own horror novels.  When Baltimore shows his disinterest, LaGrange has Baltimore follow him to the morgue to show him a dead body, getting Baltimore involved in the murder investigation of a young girl.  Hall gets drunk and has a dream about a young girl named Virginia (Elle Fanning), who may or may not have some connection to the murder.  Also, she may have been the murdered person.

According to Wikipedia, Coppola said that the idea for this movie grew out of a dream he had.  That makes sense because the movie doesn’t.  I barely have any idea what was going on here.  It seems like it’s very dangerous to make a movie involving Edgar Allan Poe, because both this and The Raven sucked pretty hard.  I kind of had an idea that I was in for something that didn’t make sense when the Nick Nolte-sounding narration was describing the town’s clock tower and said that there was something evil afoot because the seven clocks that lined the tower were all set to different times.  …Yup!  No other possible explanation for that.  And that fact terrifies me because it means that most of the clocks in my house are evil.  After that, the story is about Baltimore taking a lot of head trauma and taking drugs so that he can fall asleep and go into the dream world where he keeps finding new information about the mystery.  That is not a joke.  And by that I mean that I did not intend it as a joke, and if they did it was so devoid of comedy that it cannot be considered a joke.  It’s hard to tell with this movie because there were a lot of things that seemed like they thought it was funny.  I actually managed to stay hopeful in this movie because their constant talk about thinking of a bulletproof ending for Baltimore’s book made me think they were hinting that there was a bulletproof ending to the movie.  This was not so much the case.  It was some bullshit about a vampire with braces that fired off of her teeth when her fangs came out and some “reveal” about Baltimore’s daughter.  I wasn’t even sure that I was supposed to be surprised by that.  Lemme ask you something: if you see a guy with a drinking problem and a failing marriage looking at pictures of a daughter you never see in the movie, what are you going to think about her current status?  If you checked “Alive,” then you also checked “idiot.”

Here’s the part where I say one good thing about the movie: it mostly looked good.  The things that were supposed to look spooky achieved that.  Sometimes almost too much.  The scene when Baltimore was walking through the forest was so spooky I would describe it as what a child would draw if you told him to draw a picture of “spooky.”  Now, this is not to say that it was effective.  It was so textbook spooky that I feel like it flipped on itself and wound up being more pretty.

I don’t know if I can blame anything on the cast of the movie.  None of them seemed to take the movie seriously, and I couldn’t blame them for that.  The sheriff character struck me as pretty stupid, and not just for his stupid bird house business.  They love doing wacky hobbies in movies to make their characters seem more interesting.  I’m talking about the fact that he’s the sheriff of a town and meets a random writer and decides this dude needs to check out this dead body in the morgue.  You are a terrible public official!  I was also fascinated by the fact that Father Guido Sarducci (Don Novello) was in this movie.  And you can all be fascinated by who the hell that is as I’m probably one of the few people that remember who that is.

Twixt was not a good movie.  Or maybe it was… I have no idea what was going on.  Whatever it was wasn’t entertaining, so I’m going to assume it sucked.  The story was goofy and made no sense, and since it calls itself a horror movie they probably don’t want to be.  I feel fairly confident that everyone that participated in this movie can do much better.  There’s no reason to watch this movie, and probably no reason for me to even say that because most people don’t know it exists.  I’ll probably do one last horror movie for the October Horrorthon since I can barely count this one.  Twixt gets “Whuh?” out of “Huh?”

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