Saturday, March 26, 2011

#232. Sisters (1973)

DVD Synopsis: Margot Kidder is Danielle, a beautiful model separated from her Siamese twin, Dominique. When a hotshot reporter (Jennifer Salt) suspects Dominique of a brutal murder, she becomes dangerously ensnared in the sisters' insidious sibling bond. A scary and stylish paean to female destructiveness, De Palma's first foray into horror voyeurism is a stunning amalgam of split-screen effects, bloody birthday cakes, and a chilling score by frequent Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Herrmann.

Director Brian DePalma has never concealed his admiration for the films of Alfred Hitchcock, and Sisters is undoubtedly his homage to the legendary master of suspense.

Danielle (Margot Kidder), a beautiful French actress, meets Phillip (Lisle Wilson) when they both are contestants on a television game show for singles. The two hit it off immediately, and Danielle invites Philip back to her apartment for the night. Unfortunately, they are not alone, for also living in Danielle's apartment is her mentally ill twin, Dominique. In a fit of rage, Dominique attacks the unsuspecting Phillip with a butcher’s knife, stabbing him several times and then leaving him for dead. Grace (Jennifer Salt), a neighbor who lives directly across the way, witnesses the attack and immediately reports it to the police. But when they find no trace of a body in Danielle’s apartment, Grace, who works as an investigative reporter for a New York newspaper, decides to do some digging of her own. The search will eventually lead her to a mental institution, where Danielle’s sinister ex-husband, Dr. Emil Breton (William Finley), has been concealing a dark secret, one that, if revealed, would shed some light on the true nature of the "relationship" that exists between Danielle and her murderous twin.

Sisters is a veritable road map through the career of Alfred Hitchcock, with nods to such Hitch masterpieces as Psycho (the gruesome knife attack that shocks with its sudden brutality), Rear Window (as the police search Danielle’s apartment, Grace watches from across the alley through a pair of binoculars), and even Spellbound (aside from the psychiatric sub-plot, there’s also a revealing dream sequence that works towards tying this complex take together). In unison with these specific references to the Master of Suspense, we get the more generalized similarities: the nail-biting tension of the story, the innocent person pulled into a dangerous situation, and the callous police department that offers little or no help to the heroine. Sisters even boasts a score written by long-time Hitchcock collaborator, Bernard Herrmann, yet through his reverence for the works of the Master, DePalma also manages to throw a bit of himself into the film. By utilizing split screens, brutal violence, and a unique visual style, Sisters proves the best of both worlds; a Hitchcockian thriller that is also, and quite undeniably, a Brian De Palma film.

If you're a fan of the films of Alfred Hitchcock, then Sisters is one movie you definitely won't want to miss.


Anonymous said...

sounds good/trailer looks good, cant wait for tomorrows episode!!!!!

DVD Infatuation said...

Thanks for stopping by.

Definitely check out SISTERS, and you won't want to miss the next episode of Planet Macabre that posts tomorrow. It's already recorded, and if you've enjoyed the episodes thus far, this one's certain to entertain you.

Thanks for listening to Planet Macabre

NUTS4R2 said...

Yeah, this one's a truly cool movie.

Terrifying Moog in it.


DVD Infatuation said...

@NUTS4R2: Thanks for stopping by.

I agree with you about SISTERS. It's a nice, eerie sort of movie. There's just something great about DePalma's early films (well, for the most part, anyway...still haven't seen HI, MOM).

Thanks again.