As his first venture into pure homage, it never transcends its influences even if it goes further. We recognise the template but the undertones are decidedly more explicit. What makes it work aside from BDP's formal skills, is the kind of real-time sleuthing, a narrative perspective that shifts with the act of witnessing. More thrillers should be contained, amorphic, open to a narrative inventiveness.
This is probably one of the better De Palma’s I’ve seen. I’m starting to appreciate what he’s doing more now. It feels less like a rip-off and more like a continuation of Hitchcock into the 70s. It may be pulling a lot, but it’s probably no worse than what Tarantino does. He’s just a more talented filmmaker overall.
This decade is particularly good in these kinda of production, between horror, sci-fi and a certain new approach to psychoanalysis. Like Cronenberg ("The Brood", "Rabid") or Carpenter ("Someone's Watching Me!") de Palma did this incredible film where many of is future elements are already created. It's show too is deep devotion to Hitchcock ("Rear Window" or "Vertigo").
2,5 Watched it too long ago to make full sense of, but more vividly than before was I aware over the last few weeks of grinning stars' impatient rat-a-tat-tat on earth's domed windowpanes and Gemini's (j)ocular ring-a-rosy, when at the hospital I work at 4 pairs of twins and one set of triplet girls landed in a row. I was about to see The Triplets of Belleville to celebrate the coincidence, but then this flick turned
Annoying characters, comically bad acting, and an uninteresting screenplay. Some cool editing techniques like the black and white and split screen. The entire middle third of the movie is terrible. The private eye and the journalist are the least likeable characters I've ever seen. Soundtrack is hit and miss. Creepy at times. Distractingly campy at others. Started and ended well but that middle.... so bad.
I'm trying to develop an appreciation for DePalma, really I am. I like a couple of his films, even tho they're pretty cheezy. But this is a 70's slasher film with bloody butcher's knives. And the Bernard Hermann "crazy music" is quite cheezy, too. An extra star for a creative ending tho.
****1/2 ...and might I add, I find the description's mention of "female destructiveness" highly dubious. There's something of an allegorical take here on DePalma's obsessions (media, voyeurism, and most especially and overarchingly, the Vietnam nightmare) up to this point, and the responsibility for "destructiveness" here lies ultimately at the feet of the unquestioned and unaccountable institutions being parodied.
Threadbare and stark as most suspense films should be. Shows up the lushness of later films as something of a hindrance. I first 'saw' this film broken down into shot sequences in a film magazine. When key moments such as the stabbing neared, I knew exactly what I was going to 'see.' I was totally prepared. But, actually I wasn't. Not for the full force effect, that announced the arrival of BRIAN DE PALMA.