Folk Horror ‘The Twin’ Undermined by Schizophrenic Story

Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer

Twins are creepy. I think we can all agree to that. And if you don’t, it’s probably because you’re a twin.

The story here starts out pretty average, but writer/director Taneli Mustonen and writer Aleksi Hyvarinen do a great job of taking the old premise of a grieving mother and father who have lost a child, so they decide to start over by moving to the husband’s rural home town. And then add genuine levels of tension and creepiness to the mix.

This feels like a fresh start, hon RED QUEEN: You’re all going to di… EDITOR JULES: Just give it a rest, okay! RED QUEEN: Fine. Sheesh!

Teresa Palmer (A Discovery of Witches) plays Rachel, a mother and wife who is obsessed with keeping her surviving son safe after losing his twin in a car accident. Her husband Anthony, played by Steven Cree (Outlander, Outlaw King) is struggling to write his new book and spends little to no time with his son Elliot (Tristan Ruggeri), but seems happy to have returned to his hometown with the hopes things will get better for his wife. The only problem is the people of the Scandinavian village seem very strange and Rachel’s sanity begins to unravel as she believes these people with their pagan beliefs have dark things in store for her son.

A little while back I watched Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitch: A History of Folk Horror. It’s a fantastic documentary and it gave me a whole new appreciation for folk horror movies. The Twin will definitely disappoint those who go into it expecting some straight up “evil twin” devilment. But for fans of films with strong folk themes, such as Midsommar or The Wicker Man, films that are more creepy than scary, this slow burn will grow on you.

Come on, mom. Don’t you think you’re taking it just a bit too far? I mean, This is Us had to end at some point

It’s all about the atmosphere and Mustonen delivers in this regard, with eerie dream sequences, a chilling score and a storyline that took me back to Rosemary’s Baby. The Twin had a lot of potential in this regard but sadly all that good will is wasted as the story unfolds.

Where things go awry is with the choice to change the tone from folk horror to psychological with a twist that, to its credit, most people won’t figure out until the third act. But said twist takes all that great folk horror and throws it out the window without so much as a “How do you do?”

Don’t worry. Mummy will protect you from the bad evil twin

By the final scene The Twin feels like it was written by two different people (which it was) and ultimately comes across as two different stories that were jammed into one. Personally, I wished they had stuck with the folk horror aspects of the movie. They were the best parts, and with a little polish this could’ve been Rosemary’s Baby meets The Omen. Instead, we’re left with a reveal that doesn’t quite work when you think about it, and a conclusion that sucks the impact out of all that came before.

Sommer’s Score: 5 out of 10

Have you seen The Twin? What did you think about it? And you can check out more great horror content below:

WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED: A HISTORY OF FOLK HORROR IS A PERFECT DOCUMENTARY
FAUX FOLK HORROR ‘THE LONG NIGHT’ WEARS OUT ITS WELCOME
SUPERNATURAL HORROR CLASSIC ‘THE OMEN’ GETS UNDER YOUR SKIN

2755F829-2EEC-4A68-B6F7-F963F48C9D92 Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.

Double Tap Baby!

Read More