Seconds Apart

6/10
director: 
Antonio Negret
Year: 
2011
MPAA Rating: 
NR

It must be tough to be a twin. It seems like every so often, a film comes along to re-convince us us that there's something unnerving about two people that look exactly alike and can communicate in a way that us one-offs will never understand.

That concept is the basis of "Seconds Apart," a film based around the lives of Jonah and Seth (played by Edumund and Gary Entin), identical twins with a touch for the telekentic. Not content to simply scare people with their near-translucent alabaster skin and dapper matching outfits, the twins have a nasty habit of using their freaky twin powers to coerce their enemies into killing themselves in any number of gruesome ways. To top it all off, they are recording these murder-by-suicides "American Beauty" style as a part of what they have called "The Project." Soon enough, The Project is derailed by the distractions caused by a detective who is hot on their trail (Orlando Jones, he who Makes Seven Up Yours) and a new girl at school who takes a liking to Jonah. Drifting apart for the first time in their lives, Seth and Jonah turn their focus to each other, and, well, you can see where this is going.

"Seconds Apart" has a lot of things going for it. For starters, it's very artfully directed. Director Antonio Negret manages to squeeze a lot out of a shoestring budget, providing plenty of fantastical dream-like sequences. This film at times almost feels like "Nightmare on Elm St," in the way that it blends reality with unreality. There are moments of shocking violence, but they are spaced out well enough to ensure that they have proper impact. Unfortunately, Negret's ambition catches up to him a bit, as he lays down many plot strings but fails to tie all of them up neatly. It seems that at times throughout this film, the character development gets in the way of the mind-bending havok that the brothers wreak at the expense of their classmates, which for my money is the best part of the film. Also, for as many times as "The Project" is called out specifically, Negret fails to ever fully explain its significance, which is a huge let down.

Ultimately, "Seconds Apart" is a decent film with strong visuals and competent performances. Some times it's a macabre fairy tale, and other times it's an R-rated episode of "The Twilight Zone," but as the credits roll, it doesn't seem like much more than a a late-night special that's stretched a bit too thin.

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