Friday, October 10, 2014

Twixt (2011)

Who's In It: Val Kilmer (Batman Forever), Bruce Dern (Django Unchained), and Elle Fanning (Maleficent).

What It's About: A struggling writer (Kilmer) arrives in a small town on his book tour and is convinced by the sheriff (Dern) to stay and use a local mystery as the plot of his next book. But the writer's dreams of a young ghost (Fanning) begin to blur the lines between reality and fiction.

How It Is: Francis Ford Coppola is in an interesting stage of his career right now where he's able to just make movies because he wants to and not because a studio finds them potentially profitable. Twixt is a great example of that. Based on a dream that Coppola had, but was unable to finish, the movie feels really small and personal in an idiosyncratic way. Coppola's totally indulging himself, but there's nothing necessarily wrong with that. Twixt is loose and sloppy, but it's got a cool story and a fantastic cast.

In addition to its three stars it also has appearances by Kilmer's ex-wife (and Willow co-star) Joanne Whalley, character actor David Paymer, and Don Novello (aka Father Guido Sarducci). Ben Chapman (Murder by Numbers) has an especially cool role as the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe who serves as sort of a muse/spirit guide for Kilmer's character.

The movie is funny and charming, but also weird and - depending on your tolerance level - possibly pretentious. There may or may not be vampires, and that's not just me being coy. After Shark Night and Black Rock though, I was in the mood for something strange and daring and Twixt delivered.

Rating: Four out of five gothy ghost girls.

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