2011 / Director. Francis Ford Coppola.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Following the late 90s legendary director Francis Ford Coppola disappeared from the Hollywood radar. After a decade of leave he returned with a modest little film called YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH. He has since made two more films, each also being low budget independent films. His most recent was TWIXT, a gothic surrealist horror film which serves as one almighty mind fuck. Val Kilmer stars as a famous author who visits a small town for a book signing. During his stay he learns that the area has a sinister history and that Edger Allan Poe once resided nearby. With an enthusiastic sheriff (Bruce Dern) eager to tell the story and share the prestige, Kilmer's character descends into a strange and hellish fantasy where his nights are tormented by vivid fantasies and his days bare a striking resemblance to his nightmares. Coppola has always has his hand in horror... from his notorious DEMENTIA 13 to BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA and a handful of other produced films such as CLOWNHOUSE, SLEEPY HOLLOW and JEEPERS CREEPERS. Returning to the genre with TWIXT he has relished the opportunity to experiment with ambiguity and ambience. Showcasing a bizarre and haunting set design he conjures the essence of Mario Bavo and Dario Argento. This beautiful looking film is designed to confuse and inspire. With a bluish hue, heavy mists and conspicuous green-screen he has crafted a world that we may recognise from our own nightmares. The story is perplexing and mostly illogical and I can't help but think that it's not supposed to make sense. It oddly begins with narration from Tom Waits casting a foreboding mystique within the introduction and then his voice is never heard from again. Equally odd is the closing of the film, which provides us with post titles to suggest truth to the story. It's all trickery and you can imagine Coppola clapping his hands proudly with laughter... after all the film was hatched from one of his own nightmares. Does it matter that TWIXT doesn't make sense? Nope. This is a film of pure imagery and texture. It was judge very harshly by most critics and audiences and I suppose I can understand their disappointment. I was personally swept up by the look of it and relished its dark and morbid themes. Call me sadistic but I love horror films that depict the violent deaths of children. There's something about the meshing of pure innocence with pure evil that attracts me to the material. TWIXT is a challenging film but its a good one. No doubt I stand alone in my appraisal but when have I ever given a fuck about that?