Identical twins Seth and Jonah are pupils at a catholic school, where they cryptically speak of their “project” and share some sort of link. When their classmates and those who cross them start dying in a variety of claret-splattered apparent suicides, a grieving widower detective is assigned to get to the bottom of things.
So far, so predictable – creepy church setting? Check. Pasty identical twins? Check. Determined investigator haunted by the death of a loved one? Check. The early signs, then, are perhaps not too promising, but the film’s opening scene; in which a group of standard movie jocks turn their frat house drinking game into a session of Russian roulette, is actually fairly arresting. Negret refreshingly resists the urge to move the camera too much, and avoids the RAWK soundtrack which tends to derail many films of this type. The direction throughout is accomplished in this vein, resulting in a clearly-shot horror which relies on itself to provide the scares, rather than shaking the frame to strains of thrashing electric guitar as is so often the case.
Ultimately though, the film does have some weaknesses which slightly take away from the overall experience. The scenes shot in the boy’s home are very heavy handed in their treatment of the duality between the two, with obsessively symmetrical framing at first effective, but becoming somewhat grating. The twins themselves, though, are excellent – real life twins Gary and Edmund Entin share an obvious natural chemistry, and remain menacing throughout.
Elsewhere in the cast, Orlando Jones is convincing and sympathetic as the detective, and as the well-written (although somewhat clichéd) mystery evolves, we do find ourselves willing him on to put a stop to the sinister “project”.
Seconds Apart succeeds more as a mystery than a horror, with a few minor jump scares but little else to really get under the skin of the audience. Some of the death scenes are violent and nasty (such as the aforementioned Russian roulette sequence) and the fate of a classmate who aids the police investigation will cause squeamish viewers to look away quickly.
Overall, this is a decent little chiller, with enough in the tank to keep the interest for its lean 89 minute runtime, and original enough to be worth a look for horror fans.