Mother’s love is unconditional, even if the son is a phantom: the essence of the film Twin (2022): plot of the film, detailed endings, meaning and explanation of the ending, similar movies.
Genre: horror, drama
Year of production: 2022
Director: Taneli Mustonen
Actors: Teresa Palmer, Stephen Cree, Barbara Marten
Slogan: “A mother’s love is unconditional. Even if her son is the devil”
We have seen many films about ghosts, old houses and dark mysterious forests. However, the twisted plot of the film “The Twin” can make you seriously rack your brain.
At first glance, Taneli Mustonen’s film is a typical horror film. However, one should not rush to conclusions – this is a much deeper and more thoughtful picture than it seems.
What is the movie about
Brief description of the contents of the picture. The plot begins with a traffic accident in which the Doyle family gets involved. Rachel and Anthony, as well as one of their children, Elliot, survive. The boy’s twin brother Nathan dies.
Still from the film.
After the accident, Anthony comes up with the idea to temporarily leave the United States to his homeland, Finland. Rachel agrees – she thinks it will help her “let go” of Nathan, whom she misses dearly.
For a new place of residence, the family chooses a remote village and buys a large, beautiful house there. Elliot continues to feel sad for his brother and even asks for a second bed in the room. Soon he begins to actively communicate with someone invisible.
A little later, Anthony and Rachel throw a housewarming party and invite the sullen locals to attend. At the party, Rachel meets Helen, who is friendlier than the others. An elderly woman says that visitors are not very welcome here. However, her husband, who was born here and is a fairly famous writer, is known and respected by the locals.
The villagers consider Helen herself crazy and avoid her. Elliot, meanwhile, continues to behave strangely and surprises his mother with the fact that he is actually Nathan. An alarmed Rachel shares her feelings with her husband, but he believes that there is a point in such “games”: this is probably Elliot’s way of trying to cope with the loss of his brother.
However, very soon Anthony’s son’s behavior frightens him, and he and Rachel take him to the local doctor. The doctor is sure that, in principle, everything is fine with the baby – he just needs time. But Rachel should calm down.
Teresa Palmer as Rachel and Stephen Cree as Anthony. Tristan Ruggeri played the roles of the twins Elliot/Nathan. Still from the film.
The indignant woman goes to Helen, and she gives her own, rather peculiar interpretation of everything that is happening. The old woman draws the attention of her new acquaintance to the fact that there is no church in their rather old village. In her opinion, the answer to this lies in the fact that the local residents are almost entirely pagans and perform ancient occult rituals here. “They worship the devil,” Helen is sure. “It was he, not Nathan, who came into contact with Elliot.” She knows what she’s talking about, because not so long ago a certain entity possessed her husband, after which he died. Helen is sure that the same entity is now trying to take possession of the boy.
One night, Elliot appears in Rachel and Anthony’s bedroom and tells his mother that Nathan wants to see her. The woman goes down with her son into the living room. There, on the table, there is a small round mirror, and the boy assures that in order to talk to Nathan, the mother should look there. As creepy as it is, Rachel agrees. Suddenly someone grabs her hand and she accidentally breaks the mirror. Elliot runs away, and somehow Anthony and several local residents, including a doctor, find themselves in the living room. He gives her an injection and she falls asleep.
A woman wakes up in her own bed. It seems to her that the events of the night are just a dream, but in the trash can she notices fragments of the mirror she broke…
In the afternoon, Rachel goes into town to do some shopping and develops the photographs she has taken – a little earlier she had photographed Elliot several times. To her horror, her son is not in the photo. With this, she goes to Helen and the old woman scares her even more: in her opinion, the creepy meaning of the boy’s absence in the photo is that the devil has practically taken him away.
Barbara Marten stars as Helen. Still from the film.
Helen says she will try to help Rachel and to do this she needs to see Elliot. However, they do not have time to do anything, because the locals brought by Anthony suddenly appear in the house again – the husband assures Rachel that they will definitely help her.
The doctor injects her again and the woman “passes out.” She comes to her senses at the lake. She wears a strange wreath on her head, and she is surrounded by people in long robes with hoods. She is horrified to recognize two of them as Anthony and the doctor. She also sees Elliot sleeping peacefully in a small coffin, who was also dressed in national ritual clothing.
Anthony approaches his son and cuts his throat with a sickle. He collects the blood in a goblet and gives it to Helen, who feeds it to Rachel. At the very end of the terrible ritual, the sectarians throw her into the water, after which she… wakes up in her bed. Hearing Elliot’s voice calling for help, she rushes to her son’s room and finds him in a chest. She pulls him out of there and together they run to the forest.
Anthony notices this and gives chase. He catches up with his wife and they begin to fight, after which he tells her the terrible truth. It turns out that they did not have a twin child. Their only son, Nathan, died in a car accident while she was driving. It was not the non-existent Elliot who invented an imaginary friend, but her brain “created” a second child who survived the accident. Anthony indulged this because it truly made her life easier.
However, neighbors who noticed that Rachel was acting too strangely called the police and the unfortunate mother was eventually sent to a psychiatric hospital. There she fell into depression, and her husband decided to take her under his own responsibility and take her home. There, the first thing he did was tell the local doctor everything and enlist his support.
The woman’s mental state began to deteriorate again, and this was partly due to her communication with a local madwoman, who told her nonsense about wild rituals. Anthony was afraid for his wife and had to ask the doctor for help twice…
Explanation of the ending of the picture. Then Elliot suddenly shouts that they want to kill him and runs away. Rachel goes after him, runs to an abandoned granary and climbs up. Anthony also comes there, who continues to assure that Elliot (the boy stands below and looks at his mother) does not exist.
A fight breaks out between them again and Rachel pushes her husband, who falls from a great height and dies. A moment later, the woman is convinced that Elliot was indeed a phantom… Returning to America, Rachel buries her husband next to Nathan. However, after getting into the car, she has a nice conversation with the living Anthony and both twins, and then drives home…
Probably the meaning of the ending of the film “Twin” is that Rachel’s psyche has tightly blocked the deaths of her son and husband. It seems that the heroine is completely lost in her illusions and is unlikely to ever come to her senses.
Still from the film.
The meaning of the film
Many viewers note in their analyzes that “The Twin” is a rather bold work with a hidden meaning. Because it very skillfully and interestingly intertwines ideas about the metaphysical quest of man and his fears.
Taneli Mustonen tells the story of Rachel, a mother who lost her only son in an accident. Using her example, he shows us that there are tragedies that cannot be “lived” and “let go.” If the past is truly tragic, it will never leave a person. Even when the environment changes, it always makes itself felt – it visits in different forms and leaves its mark on those people who are somehow connected with it.
Why do some people, finding themselves in such a situation, turn to illusions? This probably happens not only because of the unwillingness to “let go” of a departed relative, but also because it is difficult, in fact, to believe that a loved one is no longer around. Protecting itself from stress, the brain “invents” a different reality in which everything is in order – at least relatively… Rachel really loved her son and sincerely wanted him back – or to feel his presence at least for a while.
Speaking about the essence of the film, it is impossible not to touch upon one important question: how safe are illusions – can they replace reality and make a person happy? Judging by Rachel’s behavior, it can be assumed that the very “devil” who cannot be stopped is nothing more than her sick mind, which has completely lost its grip. Against this background, “end” does not seem “happy” at all – after all, it’s scary to imagine what could happen behind the scenes after a while.
In psychiatry there is one controversial, but interesting technique. Its essence lies in the fact that the patient’s relatives and friends “play” in the reality that he has invented for himself. At the same time, the patient loses the desire to protest and insist on his “truth” – why do this if everyone already agrees with him?
This leads to the fact that he weakens the total defense of “his truth.” After this, the analytical centers of the brain come into force. Their activity consists of searching for any inconsistencies, violations of cause-and-effect relationships and illogicalities. In the end, the patient independently comes to the conclusion that he is mistaken and that “his truth” does not exist.
This technique does not provide any guarantees for complete recovery, because the human psyche is very complex. However, it is quite successful and really helps a lot of people.
However, the film “The Twin” shows a very free interpretation of this technique. Or maybe the director is against this approach, because he expresses himself quite clearly: it is categorically impossible to follow the patient’s fantasies, which supposedly make him feel “easier.”
Rachel’s place was in a hospital, under the supervision of doctors – probably there, over time, she could really recover. However, what happened happened: Anthony died, and she herself somehow escaped punishment and was not isolated. Now Rachel lives in illusions. Who knows – maybe she is capable of harming someone else who tries to straighten her brains?..
Still from the film.
Here are several paintings similar in meaning and partly in plot to the film “The Twin”:
- “Possum” (UK, 2018). The main character returns to his father’s house. There he is destined to meet a nightmare from his past.
- “The Monster” (USA, 2021). Laura and her 7-year-old son are hiding from their past in a remote village. One day a boy disappears…
- Midsommar (USA, Sweden, 2019). A group of American anthropology students travel to a remote Swedish village. They will not only get to know ancient traditions, but also participate in them…
- “The Gatehouse” (UK, USA, 2019). Grace is a stepmother of two children. They don’t get along well with her because they consider her a psychopath – after all, her father founded a destructive sect 12 years ago.