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Twixt (2011)

A writer with a declining career arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl. That night in a dream, he is approached by a mysterious young ghost named V. He’s unsure of her connection to the murder in the town, but is grateful for the story being handed to him. Ultimately he is led to the truth of the story, surprised to find that the ending has more to do with his own life than he could ever have anticipated.

Twixt is written and directed by the legend that is Francis Ford Coppola, and stars Val Kilmer as Hall Baltimore, a writer looking for his next story. One potentially arrives in the form of a ghost played by Elle Fanning. It sounded like a great film premise to me in the pairing of Coppola and Kilmer, combined with a horror/ghost story angle but ultimately I came away from watching this feeling pretty disappointed. It just felt like an episode of Twin Peaks, which is fine as I like that show, but Twixt is sadly not something I’m craving to see again or can really recommend. I would never of guessed a film written and directed by the man who gave us The Godfather, starring the actor who has played so many incredible parts – Heat in particular – would be so disappointing.

I’ll start with the positives. The film looked beautiful, the use of colours throughout the film really stood out and visually it was a treat to watch. Val Kilmer was as good as I’ve seen him in years, he really encapsulated this character and added a humour and innocence to the role, whilst being engaging at all times. He has also shed some weight which just from a Val Kilmer fans point of view such as myself was nice to see! He actually looked like he wanted to be there filming this, unlike in some movies I have seen of his recently which were just blatant pay days. Elle Fanning was also good as the mysterious ghost ‘V’. She had a sweet innocence to her mixed in with flashes of creepy when she needed to be.

As for the negatives? Well, there are a few. The biggest problem I had with the film was the weird story. Val Kilmer’s character searches the town for clues and inspiration for his new story, and meets its quirky inhabitants and town legends. We just follow this journey which happens in real-time and in dreams. Coppola himself has admitted when writing Twixt he never had an ending in mind and this really shows. The ending was, well, just that. The film just kind of stopped, leaving me to wonder what the hell I had just watched.

The story kept branching off and taking on weirder directions, bringing in stranger characters along the way such as Edgar Allen Poe, it just seemed pretty obvious no one really knew what was going on. The cast themselves have admitted as much whilst promoting the movie. I just wasn’t sure if it was meant to be a comedy, drama or horror film, and it wasn’t confusing in a good way. As I mentioned earlier it really was just like watching a bad episode of Twin Peaks. Except without a strange talking little man.

Overall, the idea of Twixt came to Coppola in a dream, and as such we are treated to several dream scenarios  throughout the film. They are what make the film more complicated than it needs to be, and as such I felt as though those dreams should have stayed with Coppola rather than him trying to share them with the world. The only redeeming part to me is the performance of Val Kilmer, so I can only really recommend it to his fellow fans as the man shows he can still act. For everyone else, if you’re a fan of the great director maybe go watch The Godfather or Apocalypse Now as from now on he is only going to make films he loves, and going by the example shown in Twixt I’ll stick to his old masterpieces if this is what he loves.

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9 Comments

  1. Val Kilmer really let himself go…

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  2. Elle Fanning looks to have the makings of a good actress. She’s been great in everything I’ve seen so far.
    You know the posters alone for the films you review are scary enough!! I’m not sure I want to watch all the content!

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    • Haha I will review a Disney film next so you can look at the poster without fear of nightmares 🙂 Yeah both her and Dakota are great young actresses. I haven’t seen Elle in anything else yet but I remember seeing Dakota in ‘Man on Fire’ years ago and she was incredible for someone so young.

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  3. A lot of great directors and film makers are putting out some mediocre films these days. Coppola hasn’t put out a really great film in a while.

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    • Maybe they feel they don’t have to? Or can’t be bothered? Either way I hope we get something worthwhile next time. Thanks for your comment, appreciate it

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  4. Good review there man. I was strangely drawn to this film and found many positives. The look being the major one. However, the story was complete nonsense and it’s hard to believe it was Coppola that done it.

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    • Thanks Mark. Yeah I tried to point out the positives I saw, Kilmer and the look being the main ones. Very surreal though…….almost like Coppola is just messing around now with stuff. I’m hoping he still has another great story in him though.

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      • His previous film Tetro seemed to get decent reviews. I have it in my collection but just not found the time to sit down to it.

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