Jenny Nix, wife of eminent child psychologist Carter Nix, becomes increasingly concerned about her husband's seemingly obsessive concern over the upbringing of their daughter. Her own ... See full summary »
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Jenny Nix, wife of eminent child psychologist Carter Nix, becomes increasingly concerned about her husband's seemingly obsessive concern over the upbringing of their daughter. Her own adulterous affair with an old flame, however, causes her to neglect her motherly duties until a spate of local kidnapings forces her to accept the possibility that he may be trying to recreate the twisted mind-control experiments of his discreditied psychologist father. Written by
Ross Horsley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Multiple personality disorder has been subject of stories ever since Stevenson's famous novel "The strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". Here, in "Raising Cain", director Brian De Palma shows everything he learned from studying Hitchcock and gives us a good story of suspense that although flawed, it is very enjoyable and gives the chance to shine to the underrated actor John Lithgow.
Lithgow stars as Dr. Carter Nix, a brilliant psychologist that is spending a year at home in order to care for his little daughter. Jenny(Lolita Davidovich), his wife, is concerned that he is becoming obsessed with it, and her problems increases when she finds Jack Dante(Steven Bauer), an old lover who is interested in continue their affair. Little she knows that not only she'll have to face his husband Carter, but also his other personality, the evil Cain.
Many reviews have complained that there is never a mystery that Carter and Cain are the same person. Well, that is because it is never intended to be a mystery. This is a suspense movie. As Alfred Hitchcock used to say(and no doubt that De Palma knows it), suspense is in the fact that the audience knows more than the characters. We know that Cain can appear at any time, and how the characters react to him is what keeps us thrilled.
John Lithgow truly shines as the troubled Carter/Cain, in a role that brings back memories of his superb performance in "The Twilight Zone". Sadly for the movie, the rest of the actors give awful performances, Davidovich and Bauer have zero chemistry on screen, and almost no charm, so since their characters do not have redeeming qualities, one ends up wanting them to be killed by Cain.
One big exception is Frances Sternhagen, who in her little screen time steals the show. Watch her in an amazing sequence as her character, a retired psychologist, explains the mental disorder to the detectives. That sequence is typical De Palma's perfection and Sternhagen makes the most of it.
The script is for the most part OK, and so is the directing. Not De Palma's best, but certainly satisfying; his obsession with Hitchcock's suspense is notorious, but still he manages to give the movie his own style and while this do not save completely the movie, will be appreciated by those who enjoyed "Dressed to Kill" or "Sisters".
To summarize, it is a better than average movie with superb performances by John Lithgow and Frances Sternhagen. Don't watch it with high expectations and you'll be satisfied.
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