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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Finland

Be afraid, be very afraid, as The Twin moves into post-production

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- The upcoming Don Films production, directed by Taneli Mustonen, will show the darker side of the Finnish countryside – and motherhood

Be afraid, be very afraid, as The Twin moves into post-production
Teresa Palmer in The Twin (© Don Films/Marin Sild/Jones Lehtonen)

Finnish horror The Twin, which has recently completed its shoot in Estonia and has now moved onto the editing phase, promises to deliver scares on an intimate scale. Which, as Cineuropa found out, came in handy during the pandemic, with its team still able to shoot every scene as planned, even despite the restrictions.

“Even though Estonia went into full lockdown just days before we started shooting, we didn’t have to make any major adjustments to the script. But for our indie production with ambitions running super-high, the pandemic did pose quite a few major hoops to jump through. It was a rocky ride, but we were able to wrap as planned, and everybody stayed healthy,” says the film’s producer, Aleksi Hyvärinen. “What kept us going was our incredibly talented cast: our leads Teresa Palmer and Steven Cree consistently delivered amazing performances, day in, day out. Not to mention the iconic Barbara Marten, of course.”

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Cast as Rachel, moving to a Finnish farmhouse with her husband in order to recover from a tragic accident which claimed the life of one of their twin sons, Palmer is no stranger to horror, with the likes of Lights Out already under her belt.

“We’re so incredibly blessed that this script, written by us, two guys from Finland, caught her eye. Teresa has this amazing harmony in the way she combines work and family. The story of The Twin is very much about motherhood and your worst fears as a parent. As a mother of four, Teresa really understood what her character was going through,” he adds.

Despite it being the first English-language project for the duo, staying close to home came naturally. But Rachel’s experience is that of an outsider, and moving to an unknown place begins to cause issues. Especially once her surviving son starts claiming that his dead brother is talking to him in his dreams, commanding him to do evil things.

“We have always made films out of Finland, albeit often with an international twist. Some ancient Finnish customs do get quite a devilish explanation in this twisted little story of ours,” says Hyvärinen. Their previous horror, the elevated slasher Lake Bodom [+see also:
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, went on to become one of the best-selling Finnish-language films internationally. “That and The Twin winning Best Project Awards both at BiFan and at the Finnish Film Affair gave us a crucial boost to take the script to international financiers.”

With Fabien Westerhoff’s international sales agent Film Constellation on board, the film also has Joris van Wijk, Emily Gotto and Toni Valla on executive-production duties. Backed by Shudder, Playtime, the Finnish Film Foundation, the Estonian Film Institute, Nordisk Film and MTV3, a sneak peek of the project will be presented to the participants in the Frontières Platform organised by Fantasia and the Marché du Film at Cannes this July. It may be summer, but the darkness is coming.

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