Format: DVD from Peotone Public Library through interlibrary loan on The New Portable.
There was a glorious moment of time in the 1980s and early 1990s when it was a legitimate casting choice to have John Lithgow as a heavy. Movies like Ricochet and Cliffhanger had Lithgow playing a vicious, scowling bad guy, a psychopath or sociopath who reveled in the pain and degradation of others. Y’know, the guy from Third Rock from the Sun, the actor who has put out multiple CDs of children’s songs. Toward the end of that wonderful moment in history comes Brian De Palma’s Raising Cain, which has the lovable Lithgow playing a man who is truly malevolent.
Carter Nix (Lithgow) is a child psychologist who has taken a few years off from his practice to study the early development of his daughter (Amanda Pombo). But we learn quickly that there’s something really off about Carter. In the first 10 minutes of the film, Carter has blown some sort of dust into the eyes of a woman and chloroformed her so that he can kidnap her child. Oddly, Carter’s twin brother Cain (also Lithgow) shows up in the middle of nowhere to help him deal with the woman. It doesn’t make a great deal of sense, but Cain claims he will deal with the woman and take the child to their father, Dr. Nix (Lithgow again).