Starring Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson and Andy Garcia. Directed by Philip Carlton.
Running Time: 97 mins.
I'm told there is an Ashley Judd genre in the making. That might be so, but if recent films are anything to go by, including Twisted, this genre is going to be noted for how many bad films one actress can appear in.

There are three intersecting stories in Twisted. There is the back-story: Detective Jessica Shepherd (Judd) is a decorated policewoman whose policeman father was found to be as serial killer. The second story opens the film. Jessica is recovering from her father's suicide after the revelations about his past became public. She is drinking too much, but lives the watchful eye of her father's former partner, Captain John Mills (Jackson). She is given a new partner, Mike Delmarco (Garcia). The third story is that Jessica and Mike are assigned to investigate a serial killer. What they discover is that the only link between the murders is that Jessica had a sexual relationship with all the victims the night before they were killed.

I am usually the last person in the theatre to work out who did it in the whodunit. But even I had the real killer pegged about halfway through this film. That's a serious flaw for a murder mystery. All you have to do is keep eliminating the obvious contenders from Sarah Thorpe's less than profound script, and then watch the rest of the characters in the film catch up.

There are several scenes that will disturb many viewers: graphically violent scenes of some of the murders, as well as pictures of the crime scenes; sex scenes which show just how disturbed our heroine has become; and a few deliberate shocks worthy of the horror genre.

For those who may even been unperturbed by these things, the way Jessica never questions why she has so many alcoholic blackouts, and how seasoned Detectives have detailed conversations about their crime investigations in the most public places, might be enough evidence to judge that Twisted lives up to its name in ore ways than one.

Fr Richard Leonard SJ is the Director the Australian Catholic Film Office.

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