Thursday, September 19, 2013

To See or Not To See: Twixt

Sooooo, Francis Ford Coppola made a horror movie (wrote, produced, and directed). Twixt was pretty much limited to the festival circuit before a very limited release and I heard nothing about it. Or maybe I just didn't look. I did see the trailer and it did pique my interest enough that I queued it up for dvd release.

Horror author Hall Baltimore (Val Kilmer) is on tour for his latest release when he makes a scheduled stop in a strange little town whose only claims to fame are the seven-sided clock tower (that never has the correct time on any one face) and the fact that Edgar Allan Poe once stayed a night in a local hotel. The hotel, sadly, has long been boarded up thanks to a multiple homicide. It so happens that the town has seen another more recent murder, though. One that the local sheriff thinks would make great fodder for a novel. Baltimore is uninterested until he meets V, a young local who missed his signing and comes to him in a dream. Now inspired, Baltimore sets about penning a new tome based on the town's eerie past and it's latest victim. 

It had promise. Had. First, Val Kilmer. God love him but his good movies are few and far between these days. And that probably should have been a sign. He's joined by Bruce Dern as Sheriff Bobby LaGrange, Ellie Fanning as V, and his old Willow co star Joanne Whalley as his beleaguered wife. Oh, and Ben Chaplin as Poe. And surprisingly, it's not the Poe element that drives this mess off the rails.

Visually there were some interesting things going on. The dream sequences were kind of neat if a little confusing. The writerly bits were actually fun. Overall, though, I'm not really sure what the heck happened. This movie was all over the place! Dream sequences, Poe as Baltimore's muse, murders, immortal goth kids, a weirdo sheriff, and then you get the devil in the clocktower stories and vampires. Yep. Throw in the kitchen sink and you're pretty well covered. (I've left out a few pieces in case you deem this interesting enough to suffer through on your own.)

Oh, and Baltimore's tragic backstory.

I've never been a huge Godfather fan (I know, string me up) so Coppola is a name that I recognize but not someone I idolize. It was surprising, though, that Twixt didn't work on so many levels. Probably the only thing it had going for it was that it was curiously interesting in a confusing enough way to keep me watching just to find out what was going on and that could be chalked up to my craving horror of any kind of late. Ultimately and sadly, the only real horror here was how disappointing Twixt actually was.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, Twixt is a mess, but an interesting mess. As Coppola and horror go, I like his 1992 version of Dracula better.

Kilmer's "the fog on the lake" scene totally cracks me up. The YouTube clip has become an invaluable bookmark for me.

Becky LeJeune said...

I've heard great things about DEMENTIA 13 as well. I still haven't seen it, though.

And yes, that "fog on the lake" scene was fantastic. The best part of the movie!