Raising Cain (1992)
Metrograph in NYC is showing a Brian De Palma series, showcasing 28 out
of his 29 full length films. Brian De Palma is one of my favorite
directors, having directed 4 films I would rate a 9 out of 10, which
include Carrie, Phantom Of The Paradise, Dressed To Kill and Body
Double. He has many other very good films, including Sisters, Scarface
and Hi Mom. He also has about 14 movies I have not seen yet, so this is
my chance to see as many of them as I can make time for, so expect to
see me reviewing all the ones I have missed or skipped due to
disinterest. Nothing I like more than rounding out the catalogue of
films I have yet to see of a particular director, especially one held in
such high esteem.
I had caught Raising Cain a few years back when IFC Center did a small series of Brian De Palma films as their midnight movies. I got to catch a bunch there during that series, and my general rule is to go home, go to IMDb and rate the movie and read up on it. This way I can both have a record of what I have seen, and whether I enjoyed it or not. When you see 400+ films a year in theaters, many can just get lost in your brain, or you remember liking something you really didn't, or vice versa. This was one I watched, but had no rated, and could not for the life of me remember if I enjoyed it or hated it. So this was the perfect opportunity to see it again, and rate it this time around!
At the very least, this time around I thoroughly enjoyed Raising Cain. Touching on many of the same points and areas De Palma has visited before, we have sex, infidelity, love, family, paranoia, multiple personalities, cross dressing, baby carriages, frame ups, murder, cops, doctors, children, confusion and insanity, both in characters and in plot. John Lithgow stars as a father who is having some issues with his family, both married and blood related. Giving away any more of the plot would be like tasting your food for you, so I won't bother. If you enjoy the craziness that only Brian De Palma can serve you, then this is worth a visit, even if you end up hating it.
In some ways this was a return to form for De Palma. Not only did he use John Lithgow for the third time, and Steven Bauer and Gregg Henry for multiple times, he revisits so many former movie tropes of his the word multiple starts to become the whole theme of the movie. This is what I would call his last very good thriller, as the others that have come since then, like Passion and Femme Fatale fell flat and were not worthy of his directing skill. He also had one very good drama after this one, Carlito's Way, but that is a completely different animal.
Although this movie is no Dressed To Kill or Body Double, it is about as good or better than Sisters, and has now been added to my very good pile of De Palma's works. The music in this one is by Pino Donaggio, who also did the music for Body Double. There is also another one of De Palma's long continuous takes, 4+ minutes of walking down to the morgue with a doctor. All in all, for a director who is mining his own work once again, he does a great job of making it entertaining, at the very least!
8 out of 10 stars.