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>
A Great Psychological Thriller. A must for de Palma fans.
This has a seemingly convoluted plot. Carter (et al., played exceptionally well by John Lithgow) begins to grow strange when he learns that his wife is having an affair with her ex. He becomes more obsessed with their young daughter and a rash of kidnapping/ killings occur. His wife (Lolita Davidovich) must figure out if he is behind the crimes or if his "dead" father, who committed experiments on children to develop multiple personality disorders, is to blame. Whew
What makes this film interesting, other than the above-stated reasons, is that they give away one of the twists at the very first scene. The audience is already aware that Carter has multiple personalities. What makes it more intriguing is that de Palma tricks the audience with constant flashbacks, dream sequences, and appearances made by "dead" people that are not really dead.
The film starts a tad slow during the first 15 minutes and seems Lifetime Channel worthy. But as the film progresses, it gets trippier and more Hitchcockian (paranoid, obsessive, and voyeuristic with a knock out ending). Oddly enough, this is rated "R", but for very little reason. There is no nudity, minimal sex, minimal violence, and no gore at all. Most of the violence is implied and the tension comes from the suspense built by de Palma, the disturbing subject matter, and dark atmosphere.
There are a few standout scenes that will creep the viewer out. My favorite was the hospital scene. It literally had me sinking into my couch as this thing slowly turns towards me. It scared the bejesus out of me and had me rewinding to catch a glimpse again. Other noteworthy scenes include the interrogation scene where Lithgow weaves in and out of his different personalities and the ending that is incredibly reminiscent of "Dressed to Kill".
Favorite Quote: "Hickory dickory dock. Cain has picked his lock. He did a bad deed and Josh comes to bleed. Hickory dickory dock."
DVD Extras: The barebones from Universal. Only Brief Production Notes and Original Trailer.
Bottom Line: A great psychological thriller. Gorehounds should pass though. A must for de Palma and Hitchcock fans.
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