Emily (Emily Piggford) escapes from an abusive relationship by moving back to her hometown only to discover she has a long-lost twin Charlotte, but her newfound sister might be a murderer.
Although this concept of an evil twin is certainly not anything original or exciting, if handled with care by the right director and screenwriter, it can oftentimes be a relatively fun and entertaining way to turn your brain off. That’s the kind of movie I was desperately hoping Max McGuire’s The Evil Twin would be – but it wasn’t. It’s a horrifically cheesy and trope-filled mess that isn’t remotely creepy or chilling despite its incredibly obvious efforts to be exactly that.
The script isn’t anything exciting like I mentioned, but with the right person behind the scenes, it could work. The Evil Twin‘s story doesn’t work. It has no surprises up its sleeves and goes down depressingly predictable paths.
As you can expect with a Lifetime movie, the film is littered with horrendous dialogue that will make you cringe. Characters in this story feel incredibly flat and underdeveloped. We don’t really learn too much about Emily except for some details in the opening scene (which, by the way, is ridiculously abrupt and jarring to watch, and not in the way the filmmakers were intending it to be). The rest of the movie doesn’t really care about fleshing her character out at all. As soon as her twin sister Charlotte gets brought up, the film instead focuses on her a little bit. The problem is, is that Charlotte as a character is weak as well.
Plus some of the character decisions here just didn’t make too much sense. In The Evil Twin, we follow Emily as she moves to a town that she is new to. She doesn’t have any friends there and is still getting acquainted with herself. One day she goes outside in the public eye and that’s when people start to trash talk her. Many people give her the death glare and one woman in a retail store tells her to leave her store as soon as she enters it.
Obviously, Emily is quite confused for many reasons. How do all these people know her? She certainly doesn’t know them. And why are they calling her Charlotte? It’s not long after that she learns about her long lost twin sister and decides to go and find her. In the next scene, you’d think that Emily would have some fairly strong questions for her such as “Why does everybody around town seem to hate you?”. But instead, she doesn’t ask any important questions and it’s incredibly frustrating as a viewer.
Emily Piggford does an admittedly great job in the roles of both Emily and Charlotte. It’s certainly not easy to play two different characters in the same movie. You have to play two distinctly different people and that’s a tough task even for some of the most hardened actors. The best I’ve ever seen this done was in 2020’s Freaky, where Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton swapped each other’s bodies and so, as a result, they played two different characters in the same movie and to remarkable results.
Piggford is definitely not as great as the aforementioned actors, but she still manages to do an impressive job portraying both Emily and Charlotte, and it’s clear that she had quite a lot of fun doing so.
But even still, that doesn’t save The Evil Twin from being a painfully boring and predictable disaster that can’t even offer an original and exciting story for viewers to explore. If this movie is on in the background of a party or something, you may find yourself entertained by Piggford’s performance, but other than that, this film has essentially nothing to offer.
Overall Grade: D-
MPAA Rating: TV-14
Directed by: Max McGuire
Distributed by: Lifetime Television
Release Date: January 16, 2021
Running Time: 87 minutes