Directed by Finnish filmmaker Taneli Mustonen, “The Twin” is a psychological horror film that tells the story of Rachel and her family trying to cope with the grief of having lost her young son Nathan in a car accident. Watching “The Twin” is a very mixed experience, as it holds some interest in the first few minutes but then quickly starts falling into pieces as a badly made, predictable film with nothing serious in it. With unconvincing performances and hardly any character progression, it is best to stay away from this horror.
‘The Twin’ Plot Summary
Rachel and her husband Anthony have a terrible car accident while living in the USA, and although the two adults escape unharmed, the crash kills their young son Nathan. Struck by tremendous grief, they decide to leave the country with their other twin son, Elliot, and settle in a pastoral town in Finland, where Anthony has family roots. The sudden death of his twin brother has impacted Elliot quite badly, as the young boy still struggles to understand what death and the following absence mean. The death has mentally impacted Rachel harshly too, as the woman is now overly protective of her son and is struck by fear every time he goes out of her sight. The family moves into their new house, which used to be a rectory before, and it still has photographs from the time, one of which is a photo of a young boy in a coffin, which upsets Rachel a lot. The grieving mother still has nightmares almost every night where she sees herself crowded by villagers and Elliot laid out inside a coffin. After choosing his own room, Elliot had asked his parents to set up an identical bed intended for Nathan beside his own in his room, and he had also requested to keep a wooden maze toy that had belonged to Nathan with him. After settling in, the family made a small remembrance shrine for Nathan in their yard, and Elliot now buries the toy in front of it, in memory of his late brother. A few days pass, and Anthony takes his wife and son around his childhood town and shows them a spot where prehistoric red spots on rocks seem like handprints. Anthony tells them that local legend believes that anybody who puts their hand on this rock and wishes for something has their wish granted, and young Elliot does so. Later, they go to a welcoming party organized for them by the neighbors, who seem interested in Rachel but not very warm in opening up to her as she does not speak the local language. An odd-looking Englishwoman makes acquaintance with Rachel, and tries to tell her of the significance of dreams, and very mysteriously claims that her son had asked for something and that it has arrived. She also insists that she is not crazy or eccentric as everyone around her might claim, before quickly going away as Anthony and some villagers arrive on the scene. That day, during a swing ceremony organized for the couple, Rachel sees Elliot going away somewhere and seems to rescue him from some danger, with dirt and marks on his face and clothes. Soon enough, Elliot starts to claim that he is not Elliot but Nathan, and that Elliot is now gone.
What Has Actually Taken Over Elliot?
Rachel reports her son’s strange expressions to her husband, but Anthony does not pay any heed to her words, and seems to be quite distant from his family. She notices her son’s behavior changing towards passive-aggressiveness over the next few days and finds him drawing images of his family getting burnt to death. Meanwhile, her own nightmares continue towards more sinister forms, as she now dreams of seeing Elliot at the front gate of their property, who then turns into something monstrous when she approaches him. She makes Anthony take her and Elliot to a psychologist as well, but the doctor’s words do not help her but enrage her further as he suggests she be calm. Not finding anywhere else to turn to, Rachel goes over to the Englishwoman’s house, who had given her number and had introduced herself as Helen. Helen now reveals to Rachel that the village they are living in is inhabited by followers of some demonic cult, and they try to lead people towards the devil as a sacrifice, possibly to keep him pleased and keep themselves safe. She shows her pictures of how everything in the village is designed in circular patterns and how it all leads to the sacrificial rock. Her husband, too, had been sacrificed to the devil by the villagers, and now she suggests that the same is being done to Rachel’s son, and that it is actually the devil that is trying to take possession of Elliot and wanting to make Rachel its mother. Helen shows Rachel a photograph of her husband in which everyone looked clear, apart from the man, whose face was unnaturally blurry, suggesting that the demon had taken possession of him by then. Rachel, who used to be a professional photographer at one point in her life, decides to try the same with Elliot and photographs him on the swing, much to the boy’s annoyance, and submits the film reel to the nearby town to get it developed.
She returns to find Elliot still angry at his mother for having photographed him, and she then finds the boy to have dug up his late brother’s toy puzzle. Equally scared and angry, Rachel takes away the toy and burns it at her fireplace. That night, she is woken up by Elliot’s whispers, who asks her to follow him as Nathan wants to have a word with her. Terrified, Rachel tries to wake her husband up and turn on the lights, but is told not to do so both times by Elliot. The boy takes his mother down to their drawing room and makes her sit in front of a lit candle and a mirror; and claims that Nathan is now with them and relays his messages to her. Rachel asks to see her late son, and is told to look at Elliot through the mirror. She does so and finds that her son is now holding the puzzle toy she had earlier destroyed, and a black hand reaches out to her, making her drop the mirror and shatter it. Surprisingly, now her husband arrives on the scene along with other villagers, and he claims that they only want to take Elliot away from her. Rachel is scared beyond her wits and tries to protect her son, but finds that he is already missing from the room. The villagers then gather around her, and the doctor, earlier seen, injects her with some fluid. Rachel wakes up the next morning to find Elliot and Anthony playing with each other; she thinks last night’s events were another nightmare, but finds shattered glass in her kitchen dustbin and also needle pains on her body. The photographs arrive that afternoon, and in a bewildering turn, all the photos are seen to be of the empty swing, with no trace of Elliot at all in them. The young boy, or whatever it is in Elliot’s form, asks to see the pictures, and Rachel vehemently denies it.
She frantically drives to Helen and asks for her help. The old lady asks her to take her to Elliot, and on the way, explains that she had missed the real point from the very beginning. Anthony had earlier sacrificed their son Nathan to the devil for his own success, and the car accident was just a ploy of the demon. Anthony had been rewarded, too, as his published book became very successful, but the demon and the villagers acting on its behalf were now hungry for more. It wanted the twin brother now, and was itself trying to lure the boy as it was now in control of his twin conscience. At the house, Rachel takes Helen up to Elliot’s room and introduces them, but the old woman strangely leaves the room, calling Rachel crazy and sick. She follows Helen down to the drawing room, where they are again intercepted by Anthony and the villagers. They apprehend Helen as she tries to pull out her gun, and the doctor again injects Rachel with the fluid.
What Do The Villagers Want From Rachel? What Is The Real Truth Behind Elliot?
When Rachel wakes up with a blurry vision, she finds herself on the shore of a lake or river, and notices the decapitated head of Helen lying nearby among a heap of goat heads. The villagers are all dressed in either black or white robes, and she, too, has been dressed in a white gown and robe with a wreath of flowers on her head. She soon sees Elliot dressed in a similar manner and lying in a white coffin with its lid open, and then Anthony appears on the scene and slits the boy’s throat with a dagger, covering the entire scene with dark, gushing blood. The blood is then fed to an unconscious Rachel, and some of it is rubbed in a circle on her belly, which instantly grows as if pregnant with a womb. The villagers then chant some incantation and throw Rachel into the lake.
The next morning, she wakes up in her bed to whispers from Elliot, and finds that her door has been obstructed by a chair placed in front of it. Her motherly instincts kick in, as she manages to break out and go to the attic, where she finds Elliot trapped inside a trunk just like on the previous night. Now determined that the villagers are the ones against Elliot and that they would turn the young boy into a monster, Rachel flees the house with the boy, running into the forest behind their property. Anthony notices this too and runs behind them, calling out to Rachel, and the villagers follow. The husband reaches her and pins her to the ground, and a fight ensues, with Rachel finally on top and about to smash a heavy rock on Anthony’s face. But she decides against it, seeing Elliot right in front of them, and Anthony now reveals the shocking truth.
He reveals how there was actually nobody called Elliot, never had been, and Rachel had only imagined their twin son after the death of Nathan. The wife had lost her mental stability after the death of their only son, as it was she who had been driving the car during the accident, and as part of her twisted method to deal with the grief, she had created this whole existence of Elliot. The husband had kept this out of the public eye for some time, but soon neighbors intervened and asked her to be taken for some mental health help. She had been kept at a facility for some time, where the doctors would take away the created identity of Elliot from her head, but Anthony did not want that out of love for her, as he claimed that Elliot was the only thing that kept Rachel happy. He had taken her out of the facility and moved to Finland, far away from the US, to start a new life. But Rachel’s obsession with her imaginary son grew dangerously in this new village, as she herself dug up Nathan’s toy, photographed empty swings, and smashed the mirror on her own head. Unable to help her alone, he had asked for the villagers’ help, and there had never been any existence of a demon or possession.
‘The Twin’ Ending Explained: What Does The Scene At The End Mean?
Rachel refuses to believe any of this and follows Elliot into a granary, where Anthony releases grains on the boy to prove that his existence is only in Rachel’s mind. The mother once again tries to protect her son and, in the process, pushes Anthony down from a considerable height. Searching the heap of grain, she realizes that there is no body of Elliot or any boy, and then notices the fatally injured Anthony. Back in the USA, she lays flowers at the gravesites of Nathan and Anthony, who possibly died shortly after, and then enters her car alone. She sees Anthony and their two sons seated inside the car and has a hearty family conversation with them before driving away. This last scene obviously suggests the growing delusion in Rachel’s mind, who now imagines not only her imaginary son Elliot but also her dead son and husband.
“The Twin” is a 2022 Drama Horror Film directed by Taneli Mustonen.