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Film / Twixt

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Twixt (originally named Twixt Now and Sunrise) is a 2011 film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Val Kilmer and Elle Fanning, about murders in a small town, vampires, and the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe. Or, perhaps, just about failed dreams and the writing process.

Baltimore Hall (Kilmer) is a writer, known for his witch stories, who passes through a small town with a strange clock tower and a horrific murder in its past. The sheriff, one Bobby LaGrange (Bruce Dern), is a fan of Hall, and proposes that he coauthor a book about the murders with Hall. Meanwhile, Hall attempts to find his plot (and, more importantly, an ending, so that he can secure an advance from his agent) in his dreams where he meets V (Fanning), an oddly pale red-lipped girl, at least one murder has occurred in the area involving a young girl being staked through the heart, and there's a mysterious gathering of teenagers on the North side of the lake who seem to worship death and sex under the leadership of the mysterious Flamingo (Alden Ehrenreich).

This film exhibits the following tropes:

  • Goth: The people on the other side of the lake seem to be a nearly stereotypical goth group, wearing dark clothing, white makeup, and talking about death and sex.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Baltimore Hall is a frustrated writer who has suffered from writer's block since his daughter, Virginia, died in a boating accident and feels pigeonholed in his genre of witch fiction.
  • Mundane Horror: Hall's nighttime visit to hotel "Chickering" looks like this. He is met by a very eccentric family couple who say weird things about "graves in the floor" and a mass murder which happened there, and sing the song "The Big Rock Candy Mountain" which sounds decidedly creepy in the context. It turns out it was all a dream, and when he comes there at daytime, the building is abandoned.
  • Nested Story Reveal: Throughout the film, Hall has incredibly vivid dreams that weave in and out of reality. Then, at the end, it's revealed that most of the movie was the plot of the book that he submitted, The Vampire Executions.
  • One-Word Title: Twixt comes from the term "betwixt", an archaic term meaning "between".
  • Opening Narration: Provided in gloriously eccentric fashion by Tom Waits.
  • Spirit Advisor: In his dreams, Hall is guided by the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe, who passed through the town, and ostensibly wrote a short story about their tower.
  • Splash of Color: Hall's dreams are primarily black and white, but the reds and pinks are vividly colored.