Written by: David Roden
“…and when is this most tragic of melancholy topics most poetical? When it most loosely alludes itself to beauty.”
Here it is, the long awaited return to horror for director Francis Ford Coppola. This is something I have been waiting for since I first saw Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Needless to say, my expectations couldn’t have been higher. The idea of Coppola and Tom Waits working together again was enough for me. At least that’s how I felt before hand.
It was the expectations that ruined this film for me. If it had been from any other director the problems found within wouldn’t have been so glaring. It’s not the cheesy looking CGI that bothered me, it was a problem of story.
While this was marketed as a vampire film, it was the vampire element itself that brought this whole story crashing down. We have a struggling writer who comes across a great story of a priest who isn’t willing to let his children’s souls be damned by the goth kids across the lake, so he does the unthinkable. Here is the best part of all this, through dream sequences he is told this story by Edgar Allan Poe. Poe also teaches him (and us) a thing or two about writing. My question to you is, where do vampires fit in? They don’t.
What I described to you is interesting enough on it’s own, adding vampires to it muddied the waters just a tad too much. I just hope this wasn’t an attempt to capitalize off of recent trends…but if that were the case they would have been zombies.
Enough negativity, there were certain things that worked for me. Poe, for example, was brilliant. When he sits our hero down and explains to him how he wrote The Raven, my jaw hit the floor. This film should have just been Poe, the priest, and our writer. Too high concept, too little attention to story.
You can make up your own mind on how you feel about the look of the dream sequences. That is matter of taste and to me it was delicious. It felt surreal but not ridiculous.
Go see this film for Edgar Allan Poe, not for the vampires. If Hall Baltimore is the “bargain basement Stephen King,” then Twixt is the “bargain basement ‘Salem’s Lot.”