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...
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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. Written by
P.J.'s sitting position changes throughout the Ouija Board sequence. See more »
There was, once upon a time, a town not far from a big city. A road ran through, but there were only a few businesses. A coffee shop, a hardware store, a sheriff's office. And all kinds of people. Vagrants, run away teens, religious fanatics, retired seniors who, well, it was a town of those who wanted to be left alone. And so they were.
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A film about the creative process, not really vampires
The plot: A writer on a publicity tour stops in a small town and finds creative inspiration in the mysterious happenings.
Twixt is about the creative process. If you're put off by Coppola's more indulgent films, then you're simply not going to like this one, either. Early on, it becomes apparent that this is going to be a postmodern take on Gothic tales: the film opens with a hokey narration, the town is full of quirky stock characters, and the "real world" sequences play out like an interactive story. As the film progresses, these elements grow stronger, and a surreal element breaks down the barriers between reality, dreams, and fiction. This may leave some viewers exasperated or confused, as it's a far more experimental and indulgent story than something like, say, The Godfather or Bram Stoker's Dracula. What we see is a writer trying to deal with writer's block, guilt over his daughter's death, and how to make sense of the jumble of ideas that he's got in his head. Coppola seems uninterested in telling a straight-ahead Gothic story about a homicidal priest vs vampires, but I think this is the story that audiences wanted. They're unconcerned with the creative process, themes in Edgar Allan Poe's work, or metafiction.
There are many beautiful shots in the film that make use of digital effects. Val Kilmer wanders through his dreams in a black and white world that makes occasional use of striking, bold colors. The effect is similar to the semi-monochrome of Sin City, though it's used more sparingly. Unfortunately, as striking as the cinematography is, it doesn't really live up to the legendary expectations that many have come to expect from Coppola. Like Scorsese, he seems to have became a victim of his own early success, doomed to be forever judged harshly for anything that falls short of pure genius.
Val Kilmer is obviously looking a bit older, and, yes, he's gained some weight. Regardless, I found his performance to be pretty good. I was never a huge fan of Kilmer, but he's a likable guy, and he imbues this character with the same likable qualities. His performance is a bit muted and introspective, but there are occasional hammy moments, such as when he does some rather amusing impressions during a drunken scene of writer's block. Bruce Dern was really great, and I loved his character, a spunky and reactionary sheriff who served as the foil for Kilmer's character. Dern got to be as eccentric and lively as Kilmer was quiet and repressed, and it was fun to see them work off each other. The others were good, but Dern was just so much fun that I kept wishing he'd show up in every scene, do something crazy, and keep the film a bit more lively.
For fans of Edgar Allan Poe, Gothic horror, and literary analysis, this is a fun film. Others will probably be a bit disappointed. The pacing is significantly faster than Coppola's 70s work, but it's still a bit leisurely, and the lack of a coherent narrative may alienate people who just wanted to see vampires vs serial killers in a small town full of secrets.
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