The Twin Dovetails Grief With Ancient Evil in a Horror Head-Scratcher


A distressed-looking woman with long blonde hair hugs a small child in a scene from The Twin.

Image: Shudder

Horror fans all know the trope: when tragedy strikes, evil spirits try to prey on the survivors left behind. (Bonus points if there’s a child involved.) The Twin—the English-language debut of Finnish writer-director Taneli Mustonen (2016’s true crime-inspired Lake Bodom), who co-wrote with producer Aleksi Hyvärinen, starts off very much in that vein. And then… it takes a huge turn.

We’ll give no further details about The Twin’s curveball, other than to note that it’s the main reason to check the movie out. Otherwise, it’s a well-made but not entirely original story. It stars A Discovery of Witches’ Teresa Palmer as Rachel, a young mother who agrees to move from New York to her husband’s native Finland after they lose one of their twin sons in a car accident. A fresh start is just what they need! But this being a horror movie, things obviously don’t go according to plan. Rachel, who already thinks Anthony (played by one of Palmer’s Witches co-stars, Steven Cree) isn’t showing enough attention to their surviving child, Elliot (Tristan Ruggeri), starts to suspect something’s wrong with the boy—wondering early on, “Haven’t you noticed anything odd with his behavior since we’ve been here?” Even worse, the town (a picturesque Scandinavian village) where their new home (a magnificent old mansion surrounded by a forest) is located is filled with unfriendly locals—aside from the eccentric Helen (played by yet another Discovery of Witches co-star, Barbara Marten), who assures her right off the bat “I’m not crazy, all the others are.” (Anthony calls her “a crackpot.”)