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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…
The funniest thing about this madhouse of a thriller is that John Lithgow really seems to think he's making Fight Club, and/or turning in the performance that will nab him a Best Actor Oscar. As a timid kidnapper and his eeeevil twin (OR IS HE, DUN DUN DUN), he plays both halves of the Mr. Brooks dichotomy with a ridiculously unwarranted conviction and determination. This film, about an evil doctor nabbing babies for mad science, with the help of his science-warped son, is lurid and misogynistic even by Brian De Palma's standards, but it's all much too hilariously misguided and mishandled to be offensive or even embarrassing. It's like watching a favorite actor on a drunken bender. Recommended for fans of so-bad-it's-good cinema.
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.
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".
John Lithgow gives a laughably bad performance.
So far round the bend, it's on it's way back.
De Palma nuts will love it for all the usual flourishes amped up to 11, but anyone with a passing interest will have a lot of problems with it because there are so many.
De Palma does a TV movie and it's a hell of a lot of fun
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Wacky as fuck and clownishly bonkers in its lopsided Hitchcock homage. The lifts from the master of suspense are even more overt than normal for De Palma, basically parodic. But then, pretty much everything about Raising Cain feels parodic, like a page out of Raimi, and not necessarily in the best way. Gets to it immediately, switching gears every twenty minutes or so. John Lithgow, in five different roles, camps it up for every one of them (does he mean to?). As forceful as De Palma’s self-awareness is, everything ends up feeling like an outlandish construct in which to hold Lithgow’s scenery-chewing, even though we know it is in fact the other way around. And that really hurts the film.…
Trademark De Palma crackpot psychothriller starring John Lithgow as a child psychologist who has multiple personalities. The plot is completely ridiculous as usual, and there seems to be some sort of half-attempted apologia for Dressed to Kill (the female split personality this time around saves someone from being killed), with an impressively choreographed finale and hilarious shock end reveal.
Nuttier than an orgy of The Machinist, Martha Marcy May, and Mr. Brooks, fluffing provided by someone watching Twin Peaks, and a rub-down by the American Horror Story guys. Reminds you of how creative De Palma can be when he's in his zone, although his "zone" proper is probably up for debate. If it includes bulldozing linear narrative in favor of dreams within dreams, countless hallucinations, tonal annihilation moment to moment, viz. a love scene where one lover's near deceased wife wakes momentarily to bug out at the infidelity, then dies, which is exacerbated on a terror scale because nothing before or after signaled that the movie would aim for heart-attack creepy; also a young boy emerging from an outdoor…
De Mented, De Ranged, De Ceptive, De Palma.
Oh boy, that was not a good De Palma film. It was pretty much a disaster of ideas.
The long take scene at the police station is pretty silly init's logistics. They start walking down one staircase, then they cross the building and walk down another stair case, then they walk over to an elevator and and take it down. What building would make such a convoluted path? It was just there for the Psycho exposition scene to have some background.
Lithgow does not pull off this multiple role performance. Every role he plays is so over acted it is insane.
What was up with the sets? Why was the Lithgow interrogation scene taking place in some sort of biology lab? It's supposed to be a police interrogation room. What was the set designer told to do? And City Hall/Police Department on the sign?
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