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 <email@example.com>
Jenny finds herself doubting if she is happy when her ex comes back into town... she reminds herself that she is married to the perfect man, an excellent psychiatrist who's taken time off his own practice to spend more time with their daughter, Amy. He is getting somewhat obsessive about it, though... almost like he's... studying her. De Palma goes so far in this homage to Hitchcock that the entire film is one big tribute to the master, and he plays with the camera as he also loves to do(we get a couple of long takes, one of them 4 full minutes, and one sequence has great use of slow-mo... not quite the subway scene in The Untouchables, of course), and we get a tension-packed, suspenseful psychological thriller(light, in the way that it uses the Hollywood approach to mental problems; it is actually a brutal, disturbing, bloody and violent piece with some strong sexuality... also setting it apart from Alfred's pictures - then again, he might have gone this far if the censorship laws had allowed for it, considering stuff like Frenzy), with a lot of the power coming from Lithgow's inherent creepiness(and he's perfectly cast, if some of what he's asked to do here is awkward... and do not look at the IMDb listings before watching, it will spoil a lot). The characters aren't bad(nothing spectacular, but likable and interesting enough), and the acting is plenty solid. This has a lot going on, especially as far as the plot goes(you may want to give it a second viewing just to make sure you picked up on everything that happened), and not only for a fast-paced movie that doesn't break 90 minutes. The chronology can really confuse you, as well as the score of surprises(and several fake-outs!). And at the end of the day, this is mainly meant to entertain you, and it lacks the kick of credible flicks. The DVD comes with a trailer. I recommend this to any fan of the director, star and the man whose body of work provided the inspiration. 6/10
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