From master-of-terror Brian De Palma comes this stylish psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final frame.Carter Nix (John Lithgow) is a respected psychologist, loving husband and devoted father who decides to take a year off to help raise his daughter. Carter's wife Jenny (Lolita Davidovich) is pleased to have her attentive husband home - at first.When Carter shows obsessive behavior toward their daughter, Jenny becomes concerned, and to complicate matters, Jenny's old flame (Steven Bauer) re-enters her life. But nothing can prepare her for the emergence of Carter's multiple personalities, and a fiendish plot to recreate the infamous, experiments of his deranged father.It all adds up to a roller coast ride of heart-pounding suspense and stunning visuals in a film the New York Times calls "a delirious thriller."
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In this wicked thriller from 1992, director Brian De Palma shamelessly borrows from Alfred Hitchcock (as usual) and several other filmmakers to create a shock-a-thon that plays like a film buff's highlight reel from a dozen different thrillers. Taken on those terms it's a lot of fun to watch (though not for the faint-hearted), and multiple maniac roles for John Lithgow make it an irresistible shocker that isn't afraid to wallow in its own excess. Lithgow not only plays the evil Dr. Carter Nix, who is performing strange experiments on children, but he also plays the doctor's twin sons, Josh and Cain, who kidnap kids and bring them to their father's laboratory. Lolita Davidovich is a mother whose child has been abducted, but she won't give up without a fight. If this sounds repulsive, rest assured that De Palma focuses on the battle between the mother and the nefarious twins (this isn't a film about gratuitous child abuse), and film students will delight in the allusions to Hitchcock, Michael Powell's Peeping Tom, and Orson Welles's Touch of Evil, among others. It never makes much sense or adds up to anything truly satisfying, but thanks to Lithgow's wild performances Raising Cain is the kind of over-the-top thriller that grabs you for 95 minutes and holds you in its entertaining grip. --Jeff Shannon
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