Reviews | Written by Courtney Button 21/02/2018

THE TERRIBLE TWO

On the one year anniversary of the death of their two daughters, Rose (Cari Moskow) and Albert (Reid Doyle) start to be besieged by strange goings-on in their house, which isn’t helped by Rose’s inability to properly grieve for her children.

The Terrible Two doesn’t really know what kind of horror film it wants to be. Is it a ghost story? A demon siege? A possession movie? A cult murder conspiracy? In the end, it settles for them all and is the worse off for it. Starting with ghostly goings on it starts throwing more things into the mix, muddying the waters with things that don’t make sense (including an old manuscript found in the attic with a shockingly click-baitey introductory paragraph) and divert from a good central narrative. The film makes effective use of its one location to work within its budget constraints but throws too many plot elements around in an attempt to keep things interesting during its running time.

The main cast struggle, with acting that’s solid at best and often much worse. They aren’t helped by a script that offers them little tangible humanity to work with. Albert is a father of two fairly recently deceased daughters but acts as if their pet died rather than his own offspring. There’s potential here, the struggling grief-stricken mother and strain on the marriage could play into the unreliable narrative and a couple overcoming hardship but the film never aims for that, instead, it's happy to tread the waters of standard seen-it-before direct-to-DVD horror. Moskow has more to work with as Rose, but the film can never decide on whether she’s going through extreme grief or her actions are the result of possession.

The supporting cast fares better. Devin McGee as Dr Connor makes for a compelling concerned friend who goes some way to selling the large amount of exposition that he’s saddled with and makes you wish he’d played Albert. Donny Boaz as estate agent Fred puts up a good show handling the compassionate friend but with an ominous secret. Tracy McMullan makes a memorable if largely pointless appearance as Nebula, committing to a quite over the top character that feels a bit like she’s from a different film but is all the more entertaining for it. The two daughters don’t get much to do but their masks are effectively designed and could have conjured some chills in more secure directorial hands.

The Terrible Two struggles to find its footing, pulled apart by horror tropes, dodgy acting and unrealistic characters.

THE TERRIBLE TWO / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: BILLY LEWIS / STARRING: DONNY BOAZ, CARI MOSKOW, REID DOYLE, DEVIN MCGEE / RELEASE DATE: TBC