I’ve given myself 24 hours since coming to the end of Twixt to gather my thoughts and, truth be told, I’m still not exactly sure what I sat through.

A confusing, vague, ramble of a film, director Francis Ford Coppola’s small-scale effort certainly has elements to praise, but there’s just too much wrong with it for it to get a recommendation.

A horror film of sorts, Twixt is also a film about loss, love and a host of other elements, but it never comes together in a satisfactory way.

Val Kilmer plays Hall Baltimore, a struggling horror fiction writer, forced to travel from small town to small town holding poorly-attended book signings in a bid to make ends meet.

When he arrives in his latest town though he is approached by the local sheriff, played by Bruce Dern.

The sheriff, Bobby LaGrange, is eager to get Baltimore’s take on a murder victim, a young girl who turns up staked through the heart.

Baltimore gets intrigued, and before long he is delving into the town’s murky past, which includes the mass murder of orphans, some dodgy teens and plenty of suspicious characters.

Now that all seems fairly enjoyable, but Coppola decides to clog up the film with various subplots involving Baltimore and his nagging wife (somewhat bizarrely played by his former wife Joanne Whalley), Baltimore and the memory of his dead daughter and, most strangely, Baltimore and the vision of legendary writer Edgar Allan Poe.

Things still tick over quite nicely though, thanks to a likeable performance from Kilmer, as well as some bug-eyed craziness from Dern.

But it all gets out of hand at the climax when bodies start turning up left, right and centre – with no real explanation as to why.

The likes of Elle Fanning and Ben Chaplin also turn up as a spooky teen and Poe respectively, so there are certainly no issues with the cast.

And a big thumbs up must also go to the look of the film, with Twixt mixing straight-up visuals with scenes of dreamlike quality, full of wispy smoke, shadows and suggestion.

But too much of this seems to be a Coppola pet project, with the veteran helmer tinkering with the film repeatedly over the months apparently.

Now that’s all well and good if the finished project makes sense to him – it’s just a shame it doesn’t to the rest of us.

VERDICT: [rating=2]

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.