This horror/paranormal thriller follows the lives of Albert and Rose Poe over the course of 4 days that happens to include the one year anniversary of their 5 and 6-year-old daughters deaths. The day the girls died was their birthdays too. We soon learn there is more to the girls’ deaths and the house the Poe’s thought was their safe haven.
Painful is one word I could use to describe the 84-minute endurance test that is titled The Terrible Two. This half-cocked story of a couple on the one year anniversary of their twin daughters untimely death is a series of partially explained moments and forced emotions that seems to aggressively work on confusing the viewer rather than luring them into a ghost story tale.
Okay, wait. Was it really that bad? Let’s see.
“…a couple on the one year anniversary of their twin daughters untimely death…”
The film opens on Albert (Reid Doyle) and Rose Poe (Cari Moskow) as they are about to take a tour of the new, very average-looking suburban home they are considering buying. Shabby real estate agent Fred (Donny Boaz) welcomes them inside and the two marvel at the plain white walls and beige berber carpet. Upon entering the prospective nursery, Rose strokes her pregnant belly and she and Albert smile, picturing their future.
Title flashes on the screen and we cut to…
Rose moping around in the house. The nursery they envisioned is now furnished with two empty beds and a ton of feminine touches. We go several minutes before getting any hint that we have now jumped forward in time a good 7 years give or take. It’s even longer before it is telegraphed to the audience that A) the couple had twins and B) that the two kids have died. We have to pick these clues out of long scenes of Rose combing a creepy toy doll’s hair and obviously acting very very sad.
“…scenes of Rose combing a creepy toy doll’s hair and obviously acting very very sad.”
Okay, Okay. The kids have died and it is now their birthday. This triggers all manner of reasonable mourning from Rose, while her husband, the mentally stronger of the two, comes home day after day, tie loosened from his button-up shirt, to find his wife in bed with the doll. Rose soon begins to unravel a series of secrets that include a hidden satanic diary in the attic of the very, very average-looking home. As things get even stranger a ludicrous character named Nebula (Tracy McMullan) appears in their living room to skulk around looking like the sketchy love child of Alexis Colby and Patsy Stone.
What the shit is happening? Choppy editing, poor acting, and a plot that cares not if the audience following along all join forces to make something remarkably bad called The Terrible Two. Out of respect for auteur Billy Lewis who was saddled with both writing and directing responsibilities, I will not reveal where the story goes. However, I can say that it’s consistent with the rest of the film in delivering a denouement that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, leaving plot lines dangling and forcing characters to do things that only serve the need to bring something, anything, to a merciful close.
The Terrible Two (2017) Directed by Billy Lewis. Written by Billy Lewis. Starring Donny Boaz, Cari Moskow, Reid Doyle, and Tracy McMullan.
The Terrible Two is worth VOD (*).
Norm’s Rating System: Full Price (****), Matinee (***), VOD (**), Don’t Bother (*)