Criterion Collection : Sisters (1973)

Alright, we are taking my first trip into the horror films of Brian De Palma. That’s right. I’ve never seen another of his horror movies. So let’s just move passed that one, I also had never seen this movie before. There are a few in the collection that I got because they were on sale and I had heard of them, thought they’d be worth checking out. So, I didn’t know what to expect going in, and I have to say… I was pleasantly surprised.

First though, the plot :

A journalist witnesses a brutal murder in a neighboring apartment, but the police do not believe that the crime took place. With the help of a private detective, she seeks out the truth.

That’s actually kind of delightfully vague. I won’t go too much more into it really, because I do think it’s worth watching.

First off, the main actors turn in some pretty great, if not over the top, performances. Margot Kidder is gorgeous, and I enjoyed her performance tremendously. The same goes for Jennifer Salt. Honestly, I enjoyed the performances from everyone.

I have to say, this movie did provide a stark reminder of how different a time the 70s were. The beginning of the movie has Danielle (Kidder) bringing home a man she met on a television show called “Peeping Toms”, the two go out after the show and Danielle gets wildly drunk, she brings the fella back to her house and as she drunkenly strips her clothes off and rambles to herself, we have a close up on this guy staring at her like a hungry dog, because he is just so excited she’s..so wasted. It’s a weird scene that these days would be played a bit differently, and certainly wouldn’t keep the male character as the victim. It was a pretty stark reminder of the changes in acceptable characters.

Not to worry though, he of course is brutally murdered by Danielle’s twin sister. Or is he?

Anyways!

The movie does take some interesting twists and turns, and has some pretty bizarre scenes. The style is very much unique to De Palma, and from what I understand most of his movies are heavily stylized like this. There are some interesting split-screen scenes that I didn’t think I would care for, but they actually kinda worked.

The effects are over the top and a bit cheesy, but because they are so bright and stylized they’ve actually aged quite well. It’s not over the top violent, and does have an interesting enough plot to keep you wondering what is going on.

I will definitely be checking out more of De Palma’s horror films, and certainly would love to hear any you guys would recommend, so if you have some to suggest from De Palma, or just horror movies in general, you’re more than welcome to do so!

FINAL GRADE : B

If anyone is curious what the rating scale, I will say that it’s based on personal preference for me. My all time favorite horror movie is The Exorcist (A+) and my least favorite horror movie, and movie of all time is Hellraiser : Revelations (F-)

So basically, that is the scale that everything else will drop down on.

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