User Reviews (11)

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  • I saw this movie on a wet Sunday in a movie theater in London. The cinema was packed, not because of the weather, but to see the second movie of 'boy wonder' Chris Presswell', a twenty five year old working class boy from Enfield who has got off the dole and become one of England's brightest young directors. Is the movie good? Yes, it is surprising good and reminds me of early Soderberg. Not everyone's taste, but there is a brain at work there pushing the audience to think about the story rather than the pizza they are going to have after the show. If you are a young filmmaker then you could learn from this guy who is an obvious fan of Hitchcock, but who also has integrity. Will Hollywood come and make this kid shoot bang-bang-you're-dead stuff for them? I hope not, and anyway, Chris Presswell already has his own ideas about how to kill people on screen. A good second movie for a kid from nowhere, I can't wait to see what he'll do with some real cash to spend.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    No one to like or root for--the main character is palpably, greasily unlikeable. So's the guy he's pulling a stunt on. The female is without any sex appeal whatsoever, in spite of over-applied over-red lipstick and flowing blonde hair--plus she's cheating on her poor slob of a husband. There's an irrelevant boor who swills down all the sherry and makes drunken comments.

    The "perfect murder"--which of course isn't perfect at all by the end of the film, but we knew that already--is a perfect bore. People sit around getting drunk and insulting each other and then having Moments, where everyone is silent and then drinks some more.

    And THEN! the bad guy brags the whole plot away, except he forgot one thing that exposes him at the end. He also manages to bludgeon someone at least six times without getting any blood anywhere.

    The musical score is aggressive, leaden, and overpowers the flimsy story. Like the director, it seems narcissistic and self-referential, i.e.,"look what I composed!"

    Don't bother with this movie unless you have some sort of crush on the director.
  • The moment this film started I should have switched off, due to the cringe-worthy acting on display. I'm surprised there wasn't a little man in a prompter's box feeding the lines to the actors, it really was that reminiscent of amateur dramatics at the village hall. I sincerely hope none of these actors will include Candlestick in his or her CV as they all deliver shocking performances, complete with 2-second pauses before the next line is due.

    The premise doesn't really work either, mainly due to the fact that parts which are meant to be out of earshot of the other characters would never be out of earshot in a tiny London loft apartment like this (note to director/writer; loft apartments are ALL ONE SPACE - you can't just go upstairs and have a private conversation as the people in the living room ARE RIGHT BELOW YOU!) The behaviour of the characters is ridiculous, as is their way of talking to each other.

    Written as a 30-minute TV play by people who knew what they were doing (for instance, the team behind Inside No 9), this could have worked quite well. But stretched out over 82 minutes it has little to redeem it. Even the music is so reminiscent of Psycho that it had me humming that movie's signature theme long after I forgot the misery of sitting through this pile of refuse.

    As a final note, and to show how little care went into making this film, there is a tiny bit part at the end played by someone with an American accent in a role where the character would be extremely unlikely to have an American accent. It distracts the viewer from the final scene and only serves to put the final nail in the coffin of one of the worst films I've ever seen.
  • cekadah31 May 2015
    The plot line and characterizations in this movie would have been far more entertaining on stage in a dinner theatre!

    Each one of the male actors seemed wooden and uncomfortable in front of the camera. The only female actor, Ilsa Ure, seemed perfectly natural and at comfort before the camera. This conflict between the actors made the movie seem very stagy and at practice.

    The plot line is full of holes as Jack weaves the setting for the evening to create the perfect murder. Above all the many holes, why send the uncle down the street to call the police? It wasn't logical and was a forced scene just so Jack could have his lengthy soliloquy. There are others such as when Frank said "Jack wouldn't lie" at that Vera would have heard alarm bells.

    Not a bit suspenseful nor clever.
  • I have to admit this is not my favourite genre, I'm a comedy man, but my DAUGHTER, who is all of 12 years old, loves these movies so we watched and had a great time digging into a bowl of popcorn and digging our nails into each other, this movie really delivers on the spooky suspense and takes a familiar genre and plot setting that everyone can relate to and turns it on its head...the filmmaking and particularly the SOUND is fantastic, I don't know how they got such great sound on a low budget but the sound contributes to the creepy suspense and finally drives you to the edge of your seat, without spoiling or giving away anything its highly recommended this film achieves what Hollywood films can only hope to achieve;...real people; real actors ...real suspense.
  • It surprises me that the whodunit genre seems to have vanished, with very few TV productions, and even fewer movies, a genre at one stage that was very strong. However now and then, a film like Candlestick pops up. It has all the elements of a good mystery, plot, characters, a slightly unhinged presence and a twist at the end. It looks very stylish, despite the low budget. It's well acted, perhaps not as glossy as could be, but that raw charm adds to the appeal. Andrew Fitch does a particularly fine job, enjoyed his performance very much. The Dial M for Murder influence is ever present, hats of the the writers, there is a touch of cleverness about this movie that makes it rather addictive. I love the seventies and eighties mysteries, the likes of Frances Durbridge, Ruth Rendell and Brian Clemens, Candlestick has that feel, the multi layered story with a sting in the tale.

    Very impressed, 8/10
  • artistgp30 October 2015
    I'll start by saying that I may very well be partial to this films style in general. The trailer sucked me in from the very beginning. It's well shot, well acted and tightly directed. Given the genre they were playing in I was especially fond of the score as well

    As i'm sure many will tell you, any Clue (or murder mystery) fans will most definitely enjoy the ride. It's smart and well crafted. I'll be curious to see what other works the filmmakers have on hand or coming up.

    Give it a go and see what you think for yourself. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as well.
  • Candlestick by it's name alone, instantly brings to mind the game of Clue along with an old-fashioned British murder mystery and the ultimate question of "whodunnit?" Although, in this film it's more about the unfolding twists and turns than a simple classic whodunnit.

    No drafty old mansions for this movie, filmed on a one set location in the style that brings to mind some of Hitchcock's oldies but goodies -- this is a contemporary murder mystery beautifully filmed in a contemporary setting.

    The cast is excellent, performing in the theatrical British style required -- while the film score is outstanding!!! Writer/ Director Christopher Presswell and Co- Writer Andres Forgacs have created an extremely impressive film on an Indie budget!!! Kudos indeed!!!
  • trinkschiz28 December 2015
    Director/Co-Writer Christopher Presswell has created cat and mouse game in the style of Alfred Hitchcock. It's a drawing room suspense film built around a handful of high quality actors and a malevolent conceit.

    The invitees to a small gathering are rocked by an accusation of infidelity, and the ensuing events play out with style. Both the shooting and the soundtrack have a classic clever suspense film feel.

    Also, Candlestick deliberately references the idea of board games both with the game played in the movie and the title itself, which hearkens back to Clue, the classic murder mystery game.

    I hope Presswell keeps working in the genre, making intelligent suspense films like this.
  • We really liked this thriller. Some people might find the writing and acting a little "arch", but if you realise that the film is clearly a reference to some classics, it works very well. There are clear nods and homages to Hitchcock, such as Rope, Psycho and Vertigo, but the film also has a real Ealing/Gainsborough Studios feel to it that adds another layer of entertainment. A cinephile's gem.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The beginning prattles on a bit. Andrew Fitch is Jack, a rather pretentious fellow who sees himself above those around him. Jack is carrying on an affair with Vera, the wife of his BFF. Jack despises her use of a cell phone. He would not shackle himself to such a device. He purposely keeps one of her earrings to use at a later convenience. Vera doesn't know the half of it wen she mentions Jack is less than sentimental. Jack invites his uncle, Major Burns, a respected investigator; Vera; BFF Frank and Inspector Marcus Evans to a night of dining and games. Uncle Burns is a thorn in Jack's side. Jack views him as pompous (the irony is obviously lost on Jack. BFF Frank is the next to arrive. Jack seems disappointed when Vera arrives ahead of the Inspector. Nonetheless, Jack continues his mind games despite the upset. The movie drags a bit then Jack livens things up with discussion of a "Perfect Murder" (Which most of know is not possible) and not so nonchalantly informing Frank that Vera is having an affair. Jack conveniently omits that he is her lover, of course. He merely wants to see Frank's reaction. Heated commentary ensues. Vera does her best to deny the affair. Frank isn't buying any of it. Jack is of course delighted at the interaction. Emotions flare and conversation goes too far, as it often does in these situations. Frank commits the ultimate sin, for which Jack cannot hide his glee. Jack's glee is short lived as things between Frank and Vera didn't end as planned. Jack believes he's rectified things just moments before the police arrive. The ending is reminiscent of Hitchcock involving Frank's cellphone.