Sunday, October 12, 2014
Another 31 Days Of Halloween: Sisters (1973)
'Sisters': A Psychological Exercise In The Macabre Thriller
Slasher films or violent thrillers that rarely have any violence are almost a rarity, in my opinion. Although films that focus on and show only one murder can be very successful, just like this film. Sisters is that kind of violent thriller yet it adds its own unique twist.
Sisters follows the story of a model named Danielle (Margot Kidder) who has a separated Siamese twin named Dominique that committed a murder witnessed by a reporter named Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt). The police don't believe Grace's story when she tries to tell them, so it is up to her to do some investigating on her own.
I'll start off by saying I thought the idea was very intriguing. Not only is the premise intriguing, but it was neat that it was a female-centered horror film and those are a rarity these days, in my opinion. I also thought that director Brian DePalma's use of split screen was very nice. My favorite scene that he incorporated the split-screen technique in, and this might be the only time De Palma used it, is the murder sequence. That sequence has the point of view of Grace, who is watching the murder, and the point of view of the people involved in the murder taking place. I remember when I watched the murder sequence while watching this film, I was pretty shaken.
I also liked how the film isn't a straight-up slasher flick. It relies more on mystery and as we watch Grace try to find the truth and dig deeper, we are slowly shaken to the core once she finds out more about the horrors behind the murder, which is the film's centerpiece. In the midst of sex and gore-driven horror films that came out around the time this one did, this one is more based on plot, atmosphere, and as I just mentioned, mystery. It certainly doesn't surprise me that this film became a part of the Criterion Collection.
Overall, Sisters is a mind-numbing mystery that may leave you shaken up until the film's climax. The direction by auteur Brian De Palma is simply spectacular and something to study in film class and is a standout amongst splatter-soaked slasher films.
Would I Recommend It?:
Yes. If you are in the mood for an old-fashioned murder mystery, I would definitely recommend it. Plus, if you like mystery or violent thrillers, but don't want a lot of the bloody violence that comes with them, then I would still say give it a watch.