A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
Demented. Deranged. Deceptive. De Palma.
When neighborhood kids begin vanishing, Jenny (Lolita Davidovich) suspects her child psychologist husband, Carter, may be resuming the deranged experiments his father performed on Carter when he was young. Now, it falls to Jenny to unravel the mystery. And as more children disappear, she fears for her own child's safety. John Lithgow plays creepy multiple roles as Carter, his evil twin and their father in director Brian De Palma's wicked shocker.
I wasn't Abel to get into this film at all
"I did nothing. I don't even exist."
De Palma's toying with cinematic subjectivity and where we place ourselves inside our own self-image, to which he can't resist adding some self-parody. there's an intentional denial of release here in almost every sequence. the expected crescendo never quite happens.
just for fun i watched this twice today, first on DVD and then in Peet Gelderblom's RAISING CAIN RECUT version. RECUT is probably superior for having that snowballing De Palma momentum, both versions are preposterous masterpieces.
Drifting off the path of success in quite a spectacular fashion with the enormously misguided and tone deaf "Bonfire of the Vanities" (see the amazing book "The Devil's Candy" by Julie Salamon), DePalma came back in force with a film that feels very much like a cataloging of his various visual and thematic obsessions.
-If I could single out one specific thing that keeps this movie from being on the same level as DePalma's best thrillers it would be John Lithgow. I think it's a combination of an awkwardly written character and just plain miscasting because Lithgow is not threatening, not funny and when they play up his sexuality it's death on the screen (I'll give this aspect a bit…
What I look for in a Brian De Palma film, is chaos, anarchy, unhinged characters and an edge masked in dark humour. I am pretty sure, that all of these boxes have been ticked with 'Raising Cain'. A film, of demented proportions, that is a psychological thriller offering an insight into the effects of childhood abuse. It is a difficult subject to make an easy watch, and De Palma straddles this thin stretch with millimetres either side.
Raising Cain is a prelude to a lot of psychological thriller's that are immensely popular today. You can see nuances in the likes of TV show's 'Dexter' and 'Hannibal', there are elements you can see in many modern slasher films such as 'Behind…
The Count's Verdict: Oh Brian, you are bonkers and boy do I love you for it. I've had a longstanding and deep rooted affection for RAISING CAIN ever since I first saw it on VHS back in the mid-nineties. Yes, it has a trashy 'TV-movie' melodrama feel in places BUT... It is also so knowingly demented and delirious that in many respects it is one of De Palma's most unrestrained, thus most entertaining, films. John Lithgow, regular De Palma nutter, is gleefully unhinged delivering 'multiple' performances each as brilliantly batty as the next and Francis Sternhagen is simply a delight as Dr. Waldheim. Not forgetting familiar face Gregg Henry, Pino Donaggio on scoring duty and several masterfully staged set-pieces which eclipse the film's flaws to make it trademark De Palma.
This movie feels like an inside joke, but one that I'm in on, so I'm okay with that.
Considering most critics/general audiences inability to even guess at authorial intent, John Lithgow's performance is undeniably brave in that it's so campy one might mistake it for an accidental bad performance. He's great. It's the movie that's silly.
Raising Cain feels like a thematic and aesthetic distillation of De Palma's thrillers. It's as if the director had a checklist of visual and thematic motifs that he sought to inject. Unfortunately, much of the surprise, laughter, and visual wonder that define his better work is lost in this distillation.
Sure, it's fun to watch a director rework his favorite successes, but De Palma seems much more interested in building a plot and design around those repetitions than actually infusing the film with his typical flair.
It must be stated that many of the aesthetic limitations appear to be a byproduct of a lower budget and a restrictive aspect ratio. The 16:9 frame feels entirely wrong for a De Palma…
Shout! Factory | Scream Factory Collector's Edition Blu-ray
The Director's Cut (Raising Cain Re-cut) is really far superior than the Theatrical Version. Amazing how a simple re-ordering of scenes can change the rhythm and momentum of the film so dramatically
Director's Cut: Starting with the female perspective is such a simple change, but makes everything work exponentially better. I wish I could wipe the original from my memory and watch this fresh.
Lolita Davidovich's inconsistent narration is still as clunky as ever though.
Man, why didn't I know about John Lithgow's weird stint in the horror/thriller genre sooner?
I really loved this! I think I love 90s De Palma even if no one else does. This and Snake Eyes are so wildly and insanely awesome. I think that I appreciate these films for their use of the skills and techniques he developed during his Hitchcock days on more interesting material. I feel the same way about Scarface. I think Blow Out was the film in which he culminated all of his skills from his earlier films in order to make something which stood on solid ground and wasn't just a display of cinematic stylization. The characters in Blow Out actually existed in that world and were believable vs. mechanizations of a Hitchcockian "plot" which usually was just a…
When I was ten I had a RAISING CAIN poster on my bedroom wall. My local video store would always give me the old posters they didn't wish to display anymore and I clearly recall loving my RAISING CAIN and ARMY OF DARKNESS ones best.
Anywho, I hadn't seen this in about twenty years but always remembered that it was pretty bonkers. When I saw it for sale at a going out of business liquidation I thought it might be worth another watch.
I was right. This movie is bonkers and a total blast to watch even though I know it's not a good film.
My first viewing of this movie was the re-cut (and I guess now director's cut as described on the Shout Factory Blu-ray release) and although not bad, it's hardly De Palma at his best, in fact I'd call it lower tiered De Palma. Sampling the original cut, I would say this was better, however.
I watched RAISING CAIN RE-CUT featured on the new Scream Factory Blu-ray. The film remains minor De Palma, but the re-cut certainly paints a more interesting picture. The script is a little wonky, but the real cause for CAIN's problems is Lolita Davidovich, who just can't sell the pulpy, neurotic material De Palma is giving her. Lithgow has no trouble, and hams it up gloriously.
Despite RAISING CAIN's flaws, it's filled with moments that stick with you, most notably that long tracking shot following characters down to a morgue, where they then pull the sheet away to reveal a particularly ghastly corpse. Scenes like this keep CAIN from being a total bust. And if I'm being honest, I'd usually rather watch a flawed Brian De Palma film over any other successful, but boring, narrative.
Edgar Wright's 1000 Favorite Movies via MUBI.