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‘The Twin’ review: Good ideas and strong performances

Creepy folk horror.

The Twin is one of those horror movies that suffer from a generic title. No matter how intriguing the premise may be, sometimes it seems like filmmakers in the genre underestimate the intelligence of their audience. It is not that the title does not make sense. The film is about a family that moves to the other side of the world after the death of one of their twins. It just does not give any idea of what type of story someone watching is in for. In this case, Rachel (Teresa Palmer) the mother begins to find out the truth about her surviving son. 

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That being said, there are plenty of horror movies that have survived having bland titles. All it takes is a good story with strong characters. Though it takes a while to get going, The Twin introduces some fun elements. What seems like it is going to be a boring jump scare laden affair dips its toes into folk horror. 

The Twin is at its best when it leans into the pagan aspects of the story. The film is creepier and allows the atmosphere to really take over. The rest relies on too many tropes to get by. There are some interesting ideas at play, they are just never fleshed out enough to make a lasting impression. 

The end result is one of the movie’s biggest reveals ends up falling flat. Again, it is a neat idea that ends up coming and going without leaving the intended impact. The moment ends up being a game changer that somehow manages to not resonate emotionally. 

Helping matters are the great performances in The Twin. Palmer is at home here and carries off all of the emotion needed to perfection. Fear and paranoia are a huge part of this script, but Palmer makes sure to never take things too far. Barbara Marten also excels as the only person willing to talk to the grieving family. 

The movie is not short on ideas or talent, but none of it ever comes together the way it should. The Twin is not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it does nothing to stand out. Maybe the title is perfect.

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