out of Five
Twisted was originally scheduled to open in the same week as the recent Angelina Jolie serial killer flick Taking Lives but someone wisely realised that they were a) much too similar and b) both rubbish, so they separated them by a few months, hoping no-one would notice. Of the two, Twisted is marginally more ridiculous (but not in a good way), plus it has an extremely amusing "Alcohol is bad, mmm-kay?"-type message to boot.
Ashley Judd - who is, essentially, Queen of the Hollywood Trashy Thriller - plays newly promoted police inspector Jessica Shepard. Jessica is one of those 'troubled' cops - her police inspector father once went bonkers and murdered both her mother and himself, so she was raised by her dad's old friend Samuel L. Jackson. She deals with her problems in two ways: she has therapy with David Strathairn and she goes to bars, gets hammered and takes home random guys for sex.
In addition to this, Jessica has another problem, in that, if she isn't out on the pull, she stays home and drinks red wine till she passes out. So when a serial killer starts targeting all the men she has slept with and her alibi for each murder is, "Er... I was passed out on my sofa", Jessica quickly discovers she is her own best suspect.
This is very much thriller-by-numbers territory and the sort of film where you secretly hope that the killer does turn out to be Judd after all, just to liven things up a bit. There are no shortage of other suspects, either, as the entire supporting cast behave strangely, from Strathairn's entirely too laid back shrink to Andy Garcia as her increasingly suspicious partner.
Judd is pretty good in the lead and she makes Jessica angry and bad-tempered enough so that she's not entirely sympathetic. Garcia is a little underwhelming and constantly looks as if he's remembering the days when he could headline trashy serial killer flicks on his own. As for Jackson, he's given so little to do that you almost wonder what he's doing there in the first place. Further down the supporting cast, D.W. Moffett as the slimy lawyer Ray Porter makes the best impression before winding up dead in a hot tub because he once slept with Judd. D'oh!
In short, you're much better off seeing Twisted on video, because at least then you won't be annoyed at how much money you spent on it if the overly stupid ending annoys the hell out of you. And remember kids, Alcohol Is Bad, mmm-kay?