Brian DePalma didn’t want to go back to the thriller and felt like it was a step backward. Kind of like Argento going back to make Deep Red. I say this because for two guys who have been accused of being overly inspired by Hitchcock, this one feels like DePalma had a debt to pay to someone in Italy — particularly the one scene that reveals the killer that feels lifted from the end of Tenebre.
Dr. Carter Nix (John Lithgow) may regard his daughter Amy as a science experiment and that rightfully upsets his wife Jenny (Lolita Davidovich), but perhaps she’d be more upset if she knew that inside her husband’s brain lived a whole bunch of other folks, like a young kid named Josh, a protective nanny named Margo and the violent Cain. And oh yeah — Cain is making Carter continue the experiments on children that ruined his father’s career.
His wife is also sleeping with someone else, a man named Jack (Stephen Bauer) and she’s planning on leaving, but Carter starts implicating Jack in his crimes and then tries to drown his wife. He’s also abducted his own child and claims that she is with his father, who has been dead for years.
That’s when we meet the woman who helped Carter’s father with his book, Raising Cain. She had no idea that the man was psychologically abusing his son so that he could study the personalities that emerged from the systematic manipulation that he put him through. And oh yeah — the man has faked his death established a new identity and in Norway where his son sends children to create more multiple personality disorders.
Anyways, this movie is pure silliness in all the best of ways, with Lithgow having an absolute blast, DePalma outright referencing scenes from more than one Hitchcock — Psycho is the easiest to spot — and an ending that isn’t an ending. I’m here for all of it.