Director Brian De Palma returns to his Hitchcockian roots with the suspense thriller RAISING CAIN. The film stars John Lithgow as Carter Nix, a child psychologist, who is manipulated by his twin brother, Cain, and their father into kidnapping children, including his own daughter, for the father's perverse psychological experiments. The story is simply a reworking of the disturbing PSYCHO theme with kidnapping thrown in.
Director Brian De Palma, rebounding from the disastrous BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES, returns to his Hitchcockian roots with the suspense thriller RAISING CAIN. The film stars John Lithgow as Carter Nix, a child psychologist, who is manipulated by his twin brother, Cain, and their father into kidnapping children for the father’s perverse psychological experiments. Carter seems to be the ideal husband. However, his wife is concerned that he is becoming obsessed with studying their young daughter, Amy. One day, Carter asks one of the mothers for a ride home. With the children asleep in the back seat, Carter makes the woman inhale chloroform which makes her unconscious. Soon, Carter finds himself in over his head.
Like previous De Palma films, DRESSED TO KILL and BLOW OUT, everything in RAISING CAIN is not quite what it seems. The story takes a major twist midway and builds to a suspenseful climax. Although De Palma’s script is threadbare, it offers him the opportunity to compose highly stylized scenes of suspense. The film’s violence occurs mostly off-screen, but there are a couple of horrific moments, including a close-up of the terror-striken face of a deceased woman, and a woman trapped in a submerged car. RAISING CAIN is definitely not for children or young teenagers, and it may even keep adults up at night.
(LL, SS, VV) Approximately 15 obscenities & 3 profanities; adulterous relationship (no nudity); and, kidnapping, 2 off-screen murders, woman trapped in submerged car, man's wrist cut, & close-up of corpse.