Raising Cain (1992)

DailyView: Day 319, Movie 458

Brian DePalma directed this horror/psychological thriller that looked at the world of multiple personalities and mental illness. John Lithgow starred as Dr. Carter Nix, a child psychologist who was starting a trial on childhood development.

It is not too long until we discover that Carter has some personal issues. They tried to make it look like Carter had a twin brother, but it was pretty obvious what was going on. Carter had multiple personalities and he was imagining that he was talking to a twin brother.

Carter’s wife, Jenny (Lolita Davidovich) is uncertain about what Carter wanted to do with their daughter, and was unhappy in their marriage. She came across an old flame Jack (Steven Bauer) and entered into an affair.

Meanwhile Carter and his “twin” Cain started stealing children and killing their mothers.

I’m not sure what to think about this one. It felt too over the top, especially with John Lithgow’s performance. How did this guy get to be a child psychologist? Of course, it was blamed on his father, also played by John Lithgow. The film made us think that the father was another personality at first, but he turned out to be real.

It felt as if the idea of mental illness was not taken as seriously as it could be, but this was the early nineties and that is how it was presented.

DePalma was a big Hitchcock fan and there are definitely some homages to the master. Unfortunately it was just not quite as clever as Hitchcock films. It all just felt like a TV movie.

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