Francis Ford Coppola has been on a fix of making smaller, more personal films like Youth Without Youth and Tetro in the last few years, though in addition to being smaller they were also more inaccessible than his classics like The Godfather and Dracula. However, with Twixt, he revisits the horror genre with a more well known cast, including Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern and Elle Fanning, and an unnerving premise that will be perfect for contemporary audiences.
The footage screened was plentiful, the most of any panel at Comic-Con in fact. We learned a great deal about the story, which involves ghosts, vampires, a troubled writer (the "bargain basement Stephen King" as Dern puts it in the clip), and a narrative that follows said writer working to uncover the mystery of brutal murders that occurred over 50 years ago in a remote town in America while he attempts to create a novel around the case. Also, Edgar Allan Poe seems to guide the novelist on his journey for the truth.
Elle Fanning will play the ghost of one of the murder victims, while Ben Chaplin seems to play a wannabe vampire (who may have been responsible for the killing. Kilmer is the troubled writer and he brings great personality and much needed comic relief to balance out the frightening subject matter.
The visuals for the film combine traditional horror tropes (dark shadows, low key lighting) with an ordinary aesthetic that plays up the small town setting. The contrast is wonderful and great, and should help create a unique experience. Coppola also spoke about 3D, saying that he likes the format but never wants to watch an entire movie in the third dimension. Instead, he prefers select sequences in 3D and that's how Twixt will screen in theaters later this year.
As cool as the screening was, it was just as interesting watching Coppola work on the film live as we watched! He was collaborating with composer Dan Deacon and showed us just how he creates the gothic audio/visual compositions that have defined him.
Look for Twixt in theaters later this year.