CREDIT: Shudder/Screenshot

Starring: Teresa Palmer, Steven Cree, Tristan Ruggeri, Barbara Marten

Director: Taneli Mustonen

Running Time: 108 Minutes

Rating: Unrated (PG-13 Level for General Creepiness)

Release Date: May 6, 2022 (Theaters, On Demand, and Streaming on Shudder)

The Twin is an English-language horror flick with a Finnish director and what appears to be a mostly Finnish crew. Which is to say, I was all prepared for a convoluted-in-translation affair in which the actors do their best to turn an oddly phrased screenplay into natural-sounding dialogue. But for the most part, this tale of a grieving husband and wife who move to Finland with their young son after his twin brother dies in an accident is fairly straightforward. Perhaps a bit too straightforward, insofar as it comes off as a pastiche of earlier trailblazing horror flicks. Spoilers are unavoidable if I want to mention what those movies are, so I’ll add a SPOILER ALERT!!! Here and note that what at first seems like a Rosemary’s Baby-style cabal turns out instead to be a sloppier version of the Shutter Island gambit. (SPOILER ALERT OVER)

So The Twin is hardly reinventing the wheel, but at least Teresa Palmer (who plays mom Rachel) is always compelling, no matter how much the material does or doesn’t rise up to her level. Outside of her acting career, Palmer is a mother herself who also co-runs a lifestyle brand called “Your Zen Mama.” Which is to say, she’s philosophically committed herself to a theoretical and practical investigation of what motherhood is all about, and that absolutely comes across in her performance.

While The Twin probably won’t keep you up at night, I would recommend that any horror devotee check it out to keep a pulse on the genre beyond the most high-profile releases. If you’re like me, you know that we fright flick folks like to keep a taxonomy of how filmmakers are spooking us nowadays, and The Twin‘s efforts are instructive in its attempts to pull from various inspirations. It’s available on Shudder, and if you’re a Shudder subscriber, you’re probably the type of person who will gladly take a chance on something off the beaten path like this anyway.

The Twin is Recommended If You Like: Old lady neighbors who might be friend or foe, Slo-mo silent shots of devastated screaming, Confusing possessions

Grade: 2 out of 5 Cloudy Days