Identical twin sisters, Lora and Ashley (played fairly well by Julia Reeves (adult) and Haley Boyle (child)) grow up together in a broken home after their mother is killed in a car accident leaving their father struggling to cope. The father turns to alcohol and child abuse and Lora turns on him, after seeing her sibling abused one too many times, and encourages his early demise! All this we see during a series of flashbacks – some of which really serve the story well and others are a bit superfluous. What these flashbacks rather clumsily tell us is that each of the twins can sense when the other is in trouble and even feel each other’s pain – a factor that real-life twins seem to back up from time to time.
Move forward to the present day and Lora has escaped her roots and now works in the city as a photographer who lectures photography on the side, while Ashley has remained at home and has a job at a local diner. Lora begins to have visions that her sibling, who she hasn’t seen for six years, is in trouble hence she decides to head home, face her past and find out if her sister is ok.
Running alongside this main storyline is the sub-plot involving a local businessman, Barry Drake (played well by Tony Blair look-a-like Greg Thompson (Dawson’s Creek)), who suffers terribly from Tinitus and is going through a crisis of his own, which may or may not be linked to Ashley’s disappearance.
And here lies the problem with Second Coming – you can see the ending coming a mile away since, to anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together, it’s obvious that our upstanding community member had something to do with Lora’s sister’s disappearance, a fact which is confirmed during a series of Greg’s own flashbacks, which make clear that this is the case.
I’m not sure who this film is aimed at – people who like murder mysteries will be inevitably disappointed because there isn’t much of a mystery here; people who like horror films won’t find enough here to sate their bloodlust/ scare fix with and people who seek out really bad movies will be disappointed because this isn’t one of those either – it’s just pretty average.
On the plus side the film is well shot, the score by Angelo Milli is pretty good and for a low budget movie it holds together pretty well, with reasonable performances from the largely unknown cast and a nice use of some interesting Florida locations. In fact the dialogue is very naturalistic and works well. And, although the culprit is well sign-posted, the actual events leading up to Ashley’s disappearance are a little more surprising and there is a minor twist at the end that does actually work. I also felt the rather downbeat ending worked quite well – certainly marking it as a non-Hollywood product.
I guess all the positives made this a frustrating watch since I felt this could have been an excellent little independent movie; instead the end result is a little lacklustre and disappointing.
With distributors struggling to find product to sell I’m guessing this has benefited from the recent economic downturn and has seen itself picked up for general release when normally it would have probably disappeared without a trace, a bit like one of the twins in the movie. Interestingly, in the film’s credits, the copyright stated is for 2007, although IMDB and the film’s press release cite it as being made in 2009. I’m guessing it probably sat on a distributor’s shelf for a couple of years, like so many films, until they decided what to do with it.
I’m glad they released it though, since the filmmakers involved deserve the exposure and, all negative comments aside, I did find it an entertaining watch.
Reviewer: Justin Richards
2020 Films are releasing Second Coming on DVD on 15 August so expect to see it hitting the shelves of your local supermarket soon. No extras were on the review disc.