There are just two rules when you create a thriller with a pretty lead: 1) The lead (the delectable Ashley Judd) had better show some skin. 2) Thou shalt not be boring.
Twisted utterly fails on both counts. Basically, Judd is Jessica Shepard, a messed up cop who specializes in hunting serial killers. She's fond of bedding men she meets at late night bars, because she's self-destructive. Only Jessica looks fabulous all the time, even when she's been on a bender (which is apparently every night). How she maintains her good looks without stinking up the place is just another part of cinema magic.
Jessica is mentored by John Mills (Samuel L. Jackson). For a second there I thought Jackson was going to play an understated version of his usual maniacal self. I was wrong.
Things take a turn for the strange after Jessica discovers that every man she sleeps with is murdered. And she keeps having these weird blackouts every night. The victims wash up on the shore the next day with a single cigarette burn on their hand. Poor Jessica is haunted by her parents' murder/suicide and wonders…since her father went on a mass-murdering spree before he killed himself, could she too have the "serial killer gene"?
Jessica is paired with Mike Delmarco (Andy Garcia), an Italian goomba who is alternately creepy, lecherous, and like everyone else in this ridiculous movie, wants to get into her pants. Mike follows her around an awful lot…could HE be the killer? Or maybe it's the ex-boyfriend cop, Jimmy Schmidt (Mark Pellegrino). Or maybe it's…actually, I figured it out in the first ten minutes.
Being something of a true crime fan, and having read a bit on the subject, this entire premise is absurd. You don't wake up one day and become a serial killer; if anyone actually got a good look at the life of a serial killer, it screams DANGER from day one. Pretty Jessica has none of those problems in her past, except for a vague "suppressed rage" that manifests itself in kinky sex and kicking people in the face. Her cherubic face shows no signs of hardship, and neither does the rest of her. Although the script wants us to believe she's a haggard cop, the camera is only too happy to zoom in on her rear end. Not once, but twice. And it's not a naked rear end either.
So we have a gorgeous female cop who sleeps around, yet there are very few bedroom scenes. We have a serial killer plot that is connected by red herrings (Who is that lady across the street? Why does Jessica fiddle with a cigarette but never light it?). On one hand, the cops are strictly by the book; they make a big deal out of the fact that Jessica kicks a serial killer in the face. On the other hand, nobody pulls Jessica off the case when she's a prime suspect, nor watch her home when the serial killer is obviously following her around.
Neither sleazy or highbrow, gritty or moralistic, Twisted is so boring, it gets bored with itself.