Sisters (Brian De Palma, 1973)

Continuing my on-and-off look at De Palma’s filmography, Sisters falls somewhere in the middle pack of films that I’ve seen from him. Technique takes precedence, as De Palma relies on split-screen as a means to gather a larger sense of the world at hand. It works more like a novelty than a necessity to the narrative, but I can’t argue that it’s an interesting idea in concept.

The film’s narrative combines elements of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Rear Window, and I was reminded of David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers. As much as Sisters reminded me of certain things, it doesn’t reach the level of any of those previously mentioned films. I had enjoyed the film’s premise and technique up until the final act, where the reality of the situation was called into question. Typically, this wouldn’t be much of a problem for me, but I felt that De Palma had devoted a particular amount in creating a suspenseful situation that to back track into such a wildly outrageous conclusion was a bit of a cop-out. Still, the events preceding the unfortunate finale were top-notch and genuinely suspenseful. De Palma was obviously still working out the kinks of his style, and as unrefined as this may be, I still enjoyed it.