An intense genre film that recalls Alfred Hitchcock and Brian DePalma. Jack and Dora, abandoned by their parents as babies, are desperate to find each other after years of adoption. Jack's young life has been spent with a ... more »sadistic family. Dora, whose life has been somewhat better, has developed extra sensory powers which tell her that Jack's life is in danger and drives her search for him.« less
Deserves CULT Status - a true Horror film with Style.
frankenberry | Los Angeles, CA USA | 05/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Garth Maxwell now directs lots of XENA episodes, but he made this great little New Zealand horror masterpiece several years earlier. It's a unique exercise in stylish mood and character. Alexis Arquette and Sarah Kennedy play brother and sister separated from each other as young children. Arquette ends up with an abusive family with 3 weird look-a-like "goth" sisters. What will Arquette do to survive the abuse from his new Mom and Pop and siblings? ---create a weird electrical - candle fused machine that can hypnotize and give him the chance to wreak revenge. It may sound ridiculous, but director Maxwell handles it as a mood-piece, almost like a fairy-tale, and it works. Eventually Arquette finds his sister which leads to their search for their abandoning mother. They're also being chased by the 3 "goth" sisters...which ends in a haunting finale. A great little horror film for fans who hate mainstream stuff like "Scream" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer". As far as the DVD goes, it's a mixed bag. Unfortunately, IMAGE ENT. once again released a bare-bones DVD with no extras, the film is not letterboxed and it contains that very low "phantom" audio track in the background during some scenes (this audio glitch was on IMAGE's laserdisc as well, but not on the original VHS release from TRIBORO). It's a subtle problem, however. I guess it's nice they released it at all, but they could spend a little more time and effort in their releases. The folks over at IMAGE don't seem to really care much about pleasing their audience....or maybe it's just laziness."
One of my favorite horror movies of all time
Emily R. Jarrell | Newport News, VA United States | 09/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was the most original thing I've seen in years. It stars Alexis Arquette who is emotionally and physically abused to the point of having to retaliate using his invention. Believe you me, this is a sight to behold. I agree with everyone, the sisters were creepy. The ending of this movie still gives me bad dreams. Veeeeery scary."
Simply a masterpiece
Emily R. Jarrell | 11/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film strikes out with lavish images and dark scenery. Mr. Maxwell is a remarkable director/writer and should not ever go overlooked."
FIND A CANDLESTICK, JACK
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 05/01/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Strange New Zealand film full of psychological suspense and psychic silliness. Alexis Arquette (Sometimes They Come Back Again) stars as the titular Jack, a young man who was cruelly abused by his adopted parents and their four witches from hell daughters. We follow little Jack and his sister Dora, who was adopted by loving parents, as they grow up. Eventually, Jack invents some kind of hypnotizing machine, coercing his adopted parents to kill themselves, and then he's off looking for both his sister Dora and his real parents. Meanwhile, Dora's hooked up psychically and physically with some older man named Teddy (played by Bruno Lawrence in a lifeless performance), who she employs to help find her brother Jack.
The movie has a tragic underpinning, but once grown up, Jack is so obnoxious in his revenge, and Dora becomes nothing more than a whining, sniveling teenage girl, pregnant by her psychic lover. They find their real parents, but the four sisters take care of things to make the ending as tragic as possible.
The movie looks thirty years old, and overall, is a disappointing thud. Arquette is talented, but here he emotes to the level of high school thespianism, and Sarah Kennedy as Dora just gets on your nerves.
A journey into deepest madness
gotchast | france | 01/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"5 years after (it was at Fantastic festival of Gerardmer, France), Jack be nimble is still a hard experiment in fear ! I regret this DVD edition doesn't respect the original format of the movie, you will be terrfied by the world of this boy's family : his half-sisters are completely unsane and give some of the biggest horror visions never seen for a long time. Some commentaries of the director about this mad story could've been a good bonus and will uprate the DVD."