Raising Cain Blu Ray Review

RC1When the child psychologist Dr Carter Nix (John Lithgow) beings to act out of character and starts behaving erratically, his wife is frightened he might go the way of his father. Carters father was a well known and feared psychologist, who used his place to experiment on the young children and explore the world of cognitive development. When he died, stories emerged of a man that was nasty and manipulative. A man that abused his power to try and engineer psychosis in the mind of young children and even that maybe he did so to his own child.

RC5De Palma thrillers were a certain time and a certain place in his film catalogue and his film making career. Take his films like Dressed to Kill and Blow out as two examples of his work (both also released by Arrow) and you can see he homages Hitchcock and crafts tense and complex films. Then after Body Double he went on to make a series of films in other genres but after a ten year hiatus made this film that plays on identity, gender, development and psychology.

RC3All this works very well for De Palma. Who I have always described as a consummate architect of films with as much cinematic skill as they have subtext. Here the skill is in the framing, set ups, pay offs and flow of the camera (any fan of his work will be familiar with his long takes and graceful film set pieces.) He invokes the Hitchcockian world of deceit and the Bergman sense of the psychological fracture to some affect. The tones of absurdity that could have slipped in are handled well and the amazing Lithgow plays the multiple roles with a dynamic balance. De Palma made the film but Lithgow finished it in style.

RC4De Palma does also occasionally loses the momentum of a film that must be based on suspension of disbelief and makes the film wander. For a film maker like De Palma this is actually a good thing and can, neigh does herald some interesting developments in his film making but more on this a little later. So the film is overall a superbly unhinged and unbalanced piece but has the delight of being by a great film maker that knows the form well enough to do things that are worth watching every time!

The Blu Ray and DVD both have the sublime HD print on. The real stand out however is the OTHER cut of the film and the various docs and essay on that. You have to see the film to understand the art behind construction and the art behind the docs….Then watch the docs and watch both films again.


  • Limited Edition [3000 copies] containing two versions of the film on Blu-ray and the theatrical version on DVD
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing on both versions
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh
  • Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anne Billson



  • High Definition digital transfer of the theatrical version
  • Hickory Dickory Doc, a brand-new interview with actor John Lithgow
  • The Man in My Life, an interview with actor Steven Bauer
  • Have You Talked to the Others?, an interview with editor Paul Hirsch
  • Three Faces of Henry, an interview with actor Gregg Henry
  • The Cat’s in the Bag, an interview with actor Tom Bower
  • A Little Too Late for That, an interview with actor Mel Harris
  • Raising Pino, a brand-new interview with composer Pino Donaggio
  • Father s Day, a brand-new video essay about the multiple versions of Raising Cain by Chris Dumas, author of Un-American Psycho: Brian De Palma and the Political Invisible
  • Theatrical Trailer



  • Raising Cain: The Director’s Cut, a De Palma-endorsed recreation of the film by Peet Belder Gelderblom, re-ordered as originally planned
  • Changing Cain: Brian De Palma’s Cult Classic Restored, an introduction by Gelderblom to the Director s Cut
  • Raising Cain Re-Cut, a video essay by Gelderblom on the origins and differences of the Director s Cut



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