Deceptive, Deranged, Demented, DePalma!!
R. A. Bean | knoxville, tn usa | 02/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a psychological thriller that couldn't have came at a better time than it did, but unfornately it almost got ignored at the theaters. What a travesty! All that was coming out in those days were mindless, generic thrillers like "Sleeping With Julia Roberts", "The Hand That Rocks Rebecca De Mornay", and/or "Single White Stupid Movie". I still remember telling a friend right after seeing "The Bonfire of the Vanities" that (even though I love all of the different genres of film that DePalma has made I think his thrillers are where he excels best), it was time for DePalma to return to the horror genre. And, it's as if he heard me, because this little treasure opened just a little over a year later.
Here it was to save the day! DePalma's most demented, deceptive, deranged piece of work in years. A psychological thriller that weaves back and forth, moving in and out, and in between dreams, thoughts, fantasies, flights of fancy, characters that don't exist outside of the mind, a love story, a kidnapping story, a "mad doctor" scenerario, murders, multiple personalities, framing the innocent for murder, a character that is either a "personality" or back from the dead, and reality.
Loaded with doses of extremely dark humor, this is a relatively simple story, just told in a difficult way (the basic rule of any great director), with not only references to Hitchcock (I especially loved the nod to "Frenzy"), but DePalma even riffed himself just to spite critics who had always bashed him for riffing Hitchcock and others. There is one scene in particular that is straight out of "Dressed To Kill", as well as a few other references to that film. This is a very dark journey inside the mind of a very distured individual who was made that way by experimentation as a child. Yes, John Lithgow plays Carter, Cain, Josh, and Margo Nix, as well as "their" father Dr. Nix, who is supposed to be dead; so is he too just another personality of Carter's? And he plays all five roles so brilliantly, that you believe everyone of them. The way writer, director DePalma fleshes out and brings all the characters together is something to be praised for decades!
Lolita Davidovich is great as Jenny Nix, Carter's confused, frustrated wife who has a few flights of fancy herself, again allowing the film to take us inside the minds of the characters in this film in such a stylish way that will stay in your mind for a long period after viewing. Steven Bauer is really good as Jenny's former lover, Jack, who lost his wife to cancer while Jenny was his wife's nurse, when they both fell in love with each other. But, Jenny married Carter, and now in her confused state of mind over her husband's behavior, up pops her ex to ignite a new passion in her; and Cain literally splits in two, three, four different ways. Look for Gregg Henry in a great performance as one of the detectives, Mel Harris as Jenny's friend, Gabrielle Cartaris as a doomed babysitter, and Frances Sternhagen in what could probably be the best role she's ever done, Dr. Waldheim, a psychiatrist who's surviving cancer, wearing a wig that she declares "I look like a transvestite in this!". A wig that is befitting for a real "Drag Queen" (the only other time Lithgow did this was in "The World According To Garp", a GREAT film, which this is openly paying homage to). Thus, leading the viewer to, what reviewer Adam Craig has stated: The BEST ending in DePalma's film cannon, if not the best over any other film in this genre! After viewing this, and I watch "Body Double", I now almost wished that DePalma would have scrapped the ending credits scene, and just faded to black after the final scene at the resevoir; but, I now have come to reappreciate that ending. This is definetly a film that could compare to Rob Reiner's "Misery" or Kubrick's "The Shining" as far as having a character that delivers lines so deviously sinister, yet hilarious in the same breath. This is definetly a thinking person's horrorshow! It dares to go where few films before it have dared to go...inside the Human mind and the horrors that lay dormant there, just waiting to awaken and come to life and be a character all their own. And, the coolest riddle of all to those that have seen it and loved it (which I know a LOT of people that LOVE this film, plus there are a lot of great 4 or 5 star reviews on here from some very insightful reviewers): If Margo is the protector of the children, then is her presence to be be feared or comforting in a crucial scene?
Anyways, if you like films that play out like a cat and mouse game, then this is for you. It is not a very difficult film to follow, but like chess, it has continuos twists and turns, so just let yourself go for the ride and you'll love every minute of it! Something that's Deceptive, Deranged, Demented, Delirious, Devious, Delicious DePalma at his Disturbing best! Thank you."
A brilliant and overlooked thriller.
Brian Nallick | Mpls, MN | 06/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie back when it came out.
Kind of like a cross between The Crying Game and Psycho.
Brilliant acting, a fast paced and interesting script.
The ending was...........um, creepy.
I think the leading guy used to be on Third Rock From the Sun.
I get a big kick out of seeing the kind of work he used to do.
Why did he ever go into tv?
He's way too talented for regular old tv.
All in all I think Raising Cain was one of the better psycho thrillers, but most people seem not to have seen it.
Pity, I highly recommend this overlooked gem.