Film Critique Essay On Twister

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When accepting the Empire readers' Best Film award, self-deprecating screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker said of Seven, "We thought it was just a pretentious slasher movie." And he ought to know because he went on to write Joel Schumacher's 8MM, which was just a pretentious slasher movie. Though it turned out to be the step beyond The Silence Of The Lambs that kept the flagging serial killer genre alive, Walker originally scripted Seven (or Se7en as the title appears on screen) as a low-budgeter along the lines of his work on video rental rack-fillers Brainscan (1994) or Hideaway (1995). This time gleefully exploring the Agatha Christiesque high concept (prefigured by the Belgian horror film Devil's Nightmare) of a string of murders based around the seven deadly sins.
The film became a more substantial project with the input of David Fincher, redeeming himself after the shaky directing of Alien 3.

Fincher, the major turn-of-the-millennium filmmaker, would develop the visual and thematic material of Seven in the underrated The Game (1997) and the near-masterpiece Fight Club (1999). He emphasises eerie nuances and character quirks over plot mechanics, with powerful assistance from Darius Khondji's cinematography (silvery rain and gray shadows) and the jagged editing of Richard Francis-Bruce (both taking cues from a distinctive and much-imitated title sequence designed by Kyle Cooper).

Together with Howard Shore's music and the slightly cesspool stylised performances, the effect is of a film that takes place at one remove from reality. Though set in the present day, the peripherals (typewriters, gramophone records) are slightly old-fashioned, while other design elements (police cars, uniforms) take a step towards the retro-noir style of Blade Runner or Lars von Trier's The Element Of Crime, transforming an unnamed, rainswept, desert-surrounded city into an annex of Hell.

The storyline goes beyond unlikely into deliberate realms of metaphysics, where a serial killer's elaborate spree — he has spent over a year setting up a plot apparently designed to warp the mind of a man he can only have been aware of for a week — is as much a philosophical exploration as a mad crime, intended to convince the cops on the case that the world is an infernal cesspool. Soon-to-retire homicide detective William Somerset (Freeman) and his idealistic but hotheaded replacement David Mills (Pitt) spend the last seven days of Somerset's career investigating a series of sin-themed murders: a hugely obese man forced to eat until his stomach bursts; a greedy lawyer made to slice off a pound of flesh, a slothful drug addict left tied to a bed for a year; a lustful hooker murdered by a John with a razor-edged dildo (the manufacturer mistook the killer for "a performance artist"); a vain woman mutilated and given the choice between survival as a mutilated freak or suicide.

The last two sins are taken care of in the finale as the envious killer "John Doe" (Spacey) reveals that he has decapitated Mills' pregnant wife Tracy (Paltrow) and Express-mailed the head to a desert location. The punchline, a despairing rewrite of the summary execution and badge-tossing of Dirty Harry, is that the wrathful Mills destroys his own soul ("David, if you kill him, he will win") in empty vengeance by gunning down Doe according to his demented plan.

Make-up supremo Rob Bottin creates truly hideous victims, Fincher cops a shock trick from the obscure 1981 zombie movie Dead And Buried as one apparent corpse turns out to be alive, and there's a Blade Runner-style chase-through-the-rainy-streets mid-way through the film to get some actual action on screen. But Fincher actually avoids acts of violence in favour of acts of investigation as the cops prowl the crime scenes and hit the libraries (when Somerset gives Mills a reading list of Chaucer and Dante, the younger man gets hold of Cliff Notes) trying to piece together the mind of the murderer.

In a lovely, paranoid touch, they get near Doe because the FBI has been secretly and illegally monitoring the library loans of every nutjob in the country. The message of all the killing is that the world is a truly vile place, and in their different ways both cops are forced to accept John Doe's awful argument. As the shattered Detective Mills is driven away, Somerset's voice-over muses, "Ernest Hemingway once wrote, 'The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.' I agree with the second part."

Superb modern horror with a twist to die for.


  • Length: 895 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
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     The movie that I watched was called Twister. It is a movie that is about
the study of tornado's and a story of one of the actors lives called Joe. As a
little girl, Joe's father was killed by an F-5 tornado( This is the largest size
tornado possible). The movie begins with the actual death of Joe's father in
1969. After the tragedy, time is moved on to present day and into the field
where Joe is with a group of scientist's called the Chaser's.
     Joe is presently married to a man called Bill. Bill is on the way to the
field to get some divorce papers signed by Joe so that he can marry again to a
woman named Melissa. Joe has put together a tornado studying device called
Dorothy. Dorothy is a big canister filled with hundreds of little censors that
fly up into the tornado and measure the size and wind velocities all at the same
time. The only way that the Chaser's can make it work is if they put it in the
damage path of the tornado. Joe is going to surprise Bill with Dorothy because
he is the one who actually thought up the design, and at the same time has
purposely not signed one of the papers.
     Bill finally arrives and asks Joe for the papers. Joe hands Bill the
papers and acts like everything is okay. Bill looks through the papers and finds
the paper not signed, and Joe acts as if she never say the paper and begins to
read it. Bill becomes frustrated and just as She is about to sign one of the
chaser's yells out " there is a tornado about thirty miles away". Joe and her
team suddenly run to their cars and take off toward the area where the tornado
is. Bill is left standing there and realizes that the papers were not signed.
Bill gets into his truck with Melissa and proceeds to follow the chasers. He is
following and looks in his mirror and can see a competing group of chasers and
is runoff the road and busts a tire.
     Bill catches up with the group at a little gas station that happens to
have a tire repair place across the street. Bill is standing in the road and
realizes that the other groups leader is a old partner named Jonas. Jonas had
gone out and found some corporate sponsors and doing so stole Bill's design of
Dorothy and has just named it something else. Bill is totally outraged and tries

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Twister." 11 Mar 2018

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to pick a fight with Jonas. Bill is so mad that he decides to join the chasers
and try to make Dorothy fly.
     After a little while of waiting around with conversation, a tornado
touches down and the chasers jump in their cars and go toward the tornado's
place of touchdown. Bill is driving Joe's truck and they see the tornado in a
field. Bill enters the field in front of the tornado and get s down into a ditch.
Bill finds that he can't get out of the ditch and runs into a bridge with a
tractor on it. The tornado is too close for Bill and Joe to put Dorothy into the
path, so they decide to hide under the bridge for protection. Joe's truck is
picked up by the tornado and is thrown into the street where Melissa nearly
collides with it as she was following in the back of the convoy.
     Soon later another tornado touches down and once again, the team is
unsuccessful. They decide later to park for the night and they are at a hotel
with a drive-in movie theater built next door. Everyone is standing around and
suddenly a very large tornado suddenly comes rushing upon them. The movie
theater and the people in the hotel take cover in a garage pit. The tornado
destroys the drive-in and the garage but everyone is okay.
     After the tornado passes over, they find out that is headed toward a
town called Wakita. The tornado has also grown stronger after joining forces
with another storm and has become an F-4. Joe's aunt lives in Wakita and she is
very worried for her. Bill tells Melissa to head home and take the truck with
her. Melissa tells Bill that their relationship is over and walks off. Bill then
goes to the truck and heads off towards Wakita with the rest of the crew.
     When they finally get to the town, the entire place is wiped-out. They
drive to the house where Joe's aunt lives and finds that the house is barely
standing. They holler for Meg (Joe's aunt) and find that she is in the basement
with a bookshelf on the top of her. Bill pulls the book shelf off of her and
safely gets Meg out of the house. They call an ambulance and they tell Joe that
Meg has a broken wrist and a bump on the head.
     One of the chasers comes into the ambulance and tells Joe that the storm
has joined an even bigger storm and an F-5 tornado, the biggest in thirty years
has touched the ground. Joe decides to go for it and the entire team loads up
and heads toward the tornado. The rest you are just going to have to see for

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