It’s undeniable that there’s a very good movie somewhere inside the concept for Twisted. There just has to be. Not only the synopsis must sound good. The idea is there. Unfortunately dormant and kept in a secondary plane, sacrificed for a vision that isn’t as effective as I would have hoped. Sometimes as a director you need to trust a film’s organic aspect, one that works finely in horror.
In Twisted, mother and daughter have a relationship that’s beyond toxic. Mom is always asking her what she’s doing, overprotecting her, and she even submits her daughter to a monthly checkup to see if she’s… pregnant? In any case, that’s not all. Strange massages are part of a routine that Hannah starts contemplating as being excessive. Things take a dark and sudden turn when a friend of hers dies, and Hannah gets a bit paranoid. It doesn’t help that her mom makes her feel guilty whatever’s taking place.
The film’s cinematography shows signs of a promising talent behind the camera, and visuals are unsettling enough to make you look sometimes. The performance by Madeleine Masson is good enough to make you feel for her, and Karen Leigh Sharp as the mother is very disturbing. That role simply can’t be easy to perform in modern times. There’s a very fine line between the ridiculous and the upsetting, and the actress does a good job at dominating the film in her own scenes.
Unfortunately both actresses are trapped in a script that goes nowhere with its inconsistent story and the unnecessary addition of secondary plotlines that the basis of the story has nothing to do with. We know mom is sick, and Hannah is well… part of a scheme she can’t control. But the development of the story feels out of control as important events seem to add more to the spectacle, and not to the story itself. Was it necessary to turn her against her peers?
Perhaps talking about “necessary” is unnecessary. Films should follow their course as their writers wrote them and not much more. Our contributions are pointless in regards to the story. However, scripts should always make sense and follow a purpose that’s finely thread considering the genre and story. In Twisted, we are watching an attempt at accomplishing many things with a lack of control that’s far too noticeable.
Take that ending for example: everything’s “completed” in a couple of minutes without even a notice for an arc that was supposed to be resolved so the audience can go for a more logical structure at dealing with the story. The end in Twisted will make you frown, wonder if there’s more, and go for the next thriller.
I insist: Masson and Leigh Sharp are trapped. They should be in a better film than this one.