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Like most 12-year-olds, Niles and Holland like to get into mischief. The only problem is when Holland gets into mischief, people have a funny way of "accidentally" dying. Niles knows that Holland is responsible for all the gruesome accidents happening in the neighborhood - the pitchfork hidden in the hay, the severed finger in the box, the baby in the wine barrel. He knows but dare not tell anyone, not even his beloved grandmother Ada (Uta Hagen), that Holland is the evil twin¿or is he?
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From the get-go, Niles is obviously the well-behaved one of the two, as well as the 'follower' in their relationship. Holland resorts to various mischief, often landing his twin into trouble in his stead. There's some sort of family heirloom in a clandestine tobacco tin which Holland has apparently relinquished to Niles, who doesn't seem to want it. A traveling circus comes to the area, featuring a sleight-of-hand magician who inspires the boys. Ada is a wisened old Russian immigrant, and she shares a special bond with Niles which seems to be clairvoyant in nature. When the twins' mother is paralyzed in a tragic fall after confronting them about the mysterious heirloom, Ada realizes that she must set right a great evil which she had unknowingly set off some time before.Read more ›
Twins Chris and Martin Udvarnoky were perfectly cast as twins Niles and Holland Perry. They had been discovered doing plays for Herbert Berghof, who just happened to be married to Uta Hagen. This movie was the only film work the twins ever did. They just seemed to drop out of sight afterward, heightening the reality of their performances. When I first saw this film in a theatre in 1972, I bought the extant twins premise. It was skillfully handled visually by Mulligan. I was strung along until midway when Uta Hagen, as the grandmother Ada Perry, revealed to the young Niles that his "bad" brother, Holland, had been dead for a year.
The movie worked on two levels successfully. There was a sun-kissed rural 1930's heartland, a kid's woodland paradise, on the one hand; great spans of forest and field, old barns, and dark mysterious cellars. Juxtaposed to that, overlapping and intermeshing with that, we discovered a Gothic plot; complete with a doomed family haunted by dark psychic powers, whose family crest was a peregrine falcon, for their name Perry, emblazoned on an heirloom ring, and on the creaking weathervane high atop the Victorian style house. Murder stalked the Perry farm, and spread out to the neighbors; murder disguised as accident.
Mulligan orchestrated wonderful touching moments between Uta Hagen and young Chris as Niles...Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Made back in 1972 this remastering by Eureka films does total justice to this film that never got the accolades it fully deserved. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Tommy Dooley
I have been looking for this film for years, I remember when I was young seeing this film, now I am happy seeing it again, very good acting, and wow the photography-camera work... Read morePublished 21 months ago by ringerfiona1900
This movie will take you by surprise even after you read the review. It does not follow the logical arguments expected. Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2013 by JimmyC
Why have I never heard of this movie before???? Totally out of any spotlight, this movie is much like Holland (the evil twin brother) lurking in the shadows. Read morePublished on May 1 2004 by Kuda
I saw this movie many years ago on late night TV and it made an indelible impression. Later tracked down the book by former actor, Tom Tryon. Read morePublished on April 10 2004 by CB
This is one of those movies that take a long time to build up. Nothing much happens during the first hour. Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2004 by Beth
Flawless creepy film from the 70's (sadly forgotten) I've seen at least 10 times in my 39 yrs. I loved it and always will. Uta Hagen rocks! Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2004
Okay I remember seeing this movie while browsing the horror section a long time ago and not really thinking much about it... Read morePublished on Dec 1 2003 by Daniel Collins