If there is one boy that can give Damien from The Omen a run for his money it is Mark Collins as played by Christian Slater in Twisted, released in 1986. One would think that nobody could be quite as evil as the Antichrist but Mark gives him a run for his money as the cruelty he displays to everyone around him seems to have no bounds.
There is something to be said of characters like Mark as they always make for a good villain, these psychopaths or soon to be psychopaths who feel nothing and have no empathy. One always hopes that there might be some sort of redeeming virtue to be discovered within or at the very least, something that might lead to a happy ending of sorts but that is not to be found in the make-up of he who is Mark. Suffice it to say, this is a horror movie and Mark fits the mould of a monster perfectly inside and out, terrorizing his sister, killing those he can when he can get away with it and torturing helpless animals which makes the audience wish the very worst upon him. This film sees this teenager as a boy in control of his actions but one who has become something very different from what he shows to his parents or those in his periphery and director Adam Holender does a good job at bringing out the best in Slater who gives the role his all.
Opposite Slater is Helen as characterized by Lois Smith, who takes on the role of his babysitter for the night, a woman who has no idea just what it is she has gotten herself into. Thinking that she would just have to look after young Susan and having a history of problems herself, it is easy for Mark to take advantage of the situation as Helen is put through the mental wringer. Factor in a little Nazi music, a bit of sex, a bully and a little death and it is one night that Helen will never forget. Smith is fantastic and more than holds her own against the young Slater with the rest of the cast including Tandy Cronyn, Brooke Tracy and Dan Ziskie nothing more than supporting players to the showdown which takes place.
Enthralling, to say the least, Twisted is a horror that thrills with palpable tension that features Slater in an early role foreshadowing his move to bigger and better things. With an ending that is both disturbing and somehow fitting, this picture will not disappoint.
3.5 out of 5