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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 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.
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.
The film stars John Lithgow (TV's 3rd Rock From The Sun, Cliffhanger) as psychologist Carter Nix, a loving husband and devoted father who takes a year off his work to help raise his daughter. At least that is what his wife, Jenny (Lolita Davidovich - Mystery, Alaska) thinks. Everyone believes Carter's father to be dead after allegedly commiting suicide after jumping bail from being arrested for attempting to buy babies in order to perform psycological experiments. In fact, Carter's father is alive and well and is using Carter's multiple personality disorder to murder mothers and babysitters and steal their children. Will the police catch them before it's too late though?
It's a suspenseful film that definitely keeps your attention throughout…
Even a film genius like De Palma is entitled to one f*ck up. This film is a muddy mess, even the brilliant acting of Lithgow couldn't save it. Hard to follow and evern harder to give two shits about the characters.
I think I loved this crazy movie when I was younger but it doesn't really stand up to a rewatching in the current day and gets an extra star for nostalgia alone.
John Lithgow usually gives good psycho but here he's OTT and hammy.
Lolita Davidovich is fucking terrible! Well saying, I've not seen her in anything in years.
The very last scene is classic though.
Vi esta película a los doce años como las vacas miran el tren. Anoche, en cambio, la epifanía fue de órdago. Realidad, sueños y flashbacks agitados en una película que demuestra que lo magistral y lo ridículo pueden entremezclarse sin peligro siempre que te apellides "De Palma".
The first jump scare seemed really creative and artful; the next several dozen less so.
The idea of actually assaulting the audience one way or another is something I think could be pulled off with skill. If 3D ever gets cheap enough, I'd love to see someone shoot a movie 99% in 2D then stick in one shot where the focus and convergence depths separate unexpectedly. But it would have to be only once. I would hate anyone who tried to copy the effect and start a wave of movies that just hurt people instead of being art. That's probably exactly how the jump scare went from Psycho to this, too.
Didn't like this when I was younger, mostly due to how cheesy the vision of De Palma is. I don't know what else I expected from De Palma though. It's entertaining, surreal, and Lithgow is having a blast.
I still love the OG but the re-cut is better:
For the first hour or so, Raising Cain feels like a cheap TV movie that never quite gels. The sets look tacky, John Lithgow's... erm... "energetic" performance seems out of place, Lolita Davidovich keeps smiling at clocks. Then, all of a sudden there's a wildly audacious tracking shot following the psychologist and the two policemen through the police station and everything kicks into gear in a BIG way. I was starting to regret choosing to watch this film tonight around the halfway point but the gloriously suspenseful, utterly ridiculous ending makes the whole thing gloriously worthwhile. Does the sluggish first half make the second half stand out more in comparison? Or does it drag the film down from being a potential masterpiece? I'm not sure, but I sort of loved it.
Jouissif et brillant, débordant autant de second degré que de virtuosité. Avec Body Double, peut-être le film le plus auto-référentiel et excessif d'un De Palma qui semble prendre beaucoup de plaisir.
Like DePalma took Hitchcock's Psycho and abused it from an early age so it developed multiple personality disorder. But, you know, in a good way.
I recently watched an interview with Brian De Palma where he said, "The camera lies 24 times a second." Raising Cain remains one of De Palma's overlooked gems, in the same freewheeling, hilarious postmodern spirit of Dressed to Kill and Body Double. If you can't hang with an intentionally deceptive film, one that is neither always joking nor plodding along seriously, then this probably isn't for you. Everyone can appreciate the suspense generated from undermining cinematic convention and homage, but not the cheese, which sets this one apart in the director's oeuvre. In a career high, John Lithgow goes from innocent to terrifying in no time flat, embracing the cheese.
For Raising Cain haters, I highly encourage reading John Kenneth Muir's essay about what it has to say about eroding masculinity in the 1990s and De Palma's debt to his own cinematic "fathers," like Alfred Hitchcock and Michael Powell.
Podríamos decir que con esta película (si no lo había hecho ya) Brian De Palma me ha terminado de convencer completamente, ha dado la puntilla para que le considere el maestro que es. He mencionado varias veces ya las influencias de Hitchcock en De Palma, así que me lo salto y cambio de tiempo, voy a la época en la que De Palma ya es consagrado y aparece Tarantino. Casi todas las repercusiones que supone De Palma para Tarantino (claro que este último recoge influencias de todo) están en este film, y aunque ya podría haber citado su estrecha relación en comentarios anteriores, es esta película la que más la hace notar. Por los saltos temporales, por los paréntesis en…
John Lithgow is terrifying. Actually he is the best thing in this movie, and only interesting one.
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