Raising Cain (1992) - Crime, Drama, Horror

Hohum Score



The oncologist wife of a prominent child psychologist suspects her husband has an unhealthy scientific obsession with their child, unaware of what - or who - is really going on inside his head.

IMDB: 6.1
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich
Length: 92 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 27 out of 94 found boring (28.72%)

One-line Reviews (73)

This movie was a waste of talent and time.

Raising Cain is one of the most twisted and confusing movies I have ever seen.

This movie was both enjoyable and frustrating.

*Yes I enjoyed it.

If you can manage to stay awake until the ending, you'll get to see the only gimmicky shot in the film that DePalma has NEVER used before!

It should also be pointed out that because of these sequences the narrative ends up confusing the audience .

The film was often entertaining, the performances were generally OK (except for John Lithgow, who was as enjoyably over-the-top as ever) and even though it's made patently obvious from the very beginning that the main two characters Lithgow is playing are actually the same, the ending did come as a bit of a surprise.

It's absolutely hilarious but also suspenseful and, at times, terrifying.

Working alongside a creative support team, the talented director still manages to borrow from every manual in the book, yet his films are usually entertaining.

While the movie's strange confusing atmosphere kept my interest for a while, it eventually became overwhelming to the point where you realize how inept the film really is.

Here, in "Raising Cain", director Brian De Palma shows everything he learned from studying Hitchcock and gives us a good story of suspense that although flawed, it is very enjoyable and gives the chance to shine to the underrated actor John Lithgow.


This is a very dreary and sleepy thriller where the sunny color format here, suited it to a tee.

Predictable because even the least observant of viewers might still be able to spot this movie's first plot-twist from a mile away like I did.

The film starts a tad slow during the first 15 minutes and seems Lifetime Channel worthy.

Trust me I am doing a public service by telling you to save your money and go bye something better.

But with the casting of De Palma's favourite ham John Lithgow and its sickly, TV movie aesthetic, there's something oddly fascinating about its silliness.

a bit slow, Lithgow does creep you out at times....

famous actors are in it which surprised me because it is a cheesy film but entertaining .

Things go from bad to worse in a increasingly confusing situation as more dead bodies pop up & more children disappear, it's up to California's finest Lieutenant Terri (Gregg Henry) & his partner Sergeant Cully (Tom Bower) to delve into the past to try & shed some light on the present in an attempt to unravel the mystery before them...

The entire film is stuffed with these long, continuous single camera shots that are so slow and placid they're entirely at odds with the tension and pace the story is trying to generate.

The fascinating thing is that the film becomes increasingly dark and the plot twists and turns like a good 'un, so you're not quite sure what to expect at the climax.

The film did have an engaging sound design, preventing one from turning the film off before it ends.

The film also has little of the visual inventiveness one expects from De Palma,in fact for much of the time it's visually dull,although at least there's a lush Pino Donnaggio score to hear.

Watch this one second and watch their brains deflate like a balloon out of confusion.

It was a little outlandish, but still worth watching.

It was entertaining.

The storyline is laughable, the acting is uniformly dreadful (even credible actors like Lithgow and Davidovich offer cringe-worthy performances), De Palma's blatant I-wish-I-were-Hitchcock direction has never been more pitiful - or unsuccessful - and the movie's climactic scene is so inane, so obviously contrived (if you _must_ watch this, you'll see what I mean by the truck carrying the sundial doing nothing the entire climax except strategically backing up and going forward), that you will be tempted to simply turn off the VCR.

But it's still a major letdown in the sense that I generally enjoy Brian DePalma's films, so I was quite shocked that this was completely empty in every way.

Lithgow is at least entertaining as he tries to figure his way out of a situation that is rapidly spiralling out of his hands.

If ever you hear some phony-baloney actor type spouting off about have to struggle to find their character, show them this scene - Sternhagen is wild, funny, gripping, irascible, scared, intriguing and intense, all at the same time.

The plot is very unclear and confusing, and many cinema goers will have difficulty making out what's happening.

it was the worst movie I saw too.

"Raising Cain" is a deceptive thriller by Brian De Palma, with a flawed, conventional, predictable and poorly story.

Produce by Gale Anne Hurd (of Terminator fame) and brilliantly written and directed by DePalma, this is a great, gleeful, creepy, exciting, shocking, fantastically well-executed thriller.

The Plot, for some Discerning Folks, was Confusing and Awkward.

The re-emergence (or raising) of Cain and the subsequent abduction of the child of Carter and his wife Jenny (well played by the underrated Lolita Davidovich) sets off one of the scariest movies in history, with riveting suspense and visual shocks that are literally jolting, like few movies have ever achieved.

The stunning Davidovich and hunky Bauer lead a solid supporting cast consisting of folks like Frances Sternhagen, Gregg Henry, Tom Bower, Mel Harris, and Barton Heyman.

Crazy, rambling plot, no suspense, confusing, not engaging, totally unpleasant to watch, and virtually no sense of excitement.

It's a funny and deranged film that is probably not good, though it's enjoyable on its own stupid-fun-bad-good terms.

LOL, I see others have rated this as the worst movie ever.

However, if you take the time to get your head round the plot which can be confusing on first viewing, you realise that its actually rather good.

I just think it's a pity that the 'tears-of-boredom' inducing initial hour ruin what might have been a good thriller.

Worst movie ever .

Raising Cain is certainly not classic De Palma, clearly not up to the standards of Carrie, Dressed to Kill or Blow Out, but it is a very entertaining film all the same, and more proof that he should be making more of the typical De Palma films and less of the Hollywood guff.

Don't waste your flipping time or your money .

was quite watchable), I would have to class this as a bit of a turkey - for some discerning viewers it may even cross into so-bad-it's-good territory, but for me the few decent ideas on show disqualify it even from that, leaving it floating in the dreaded no-man's land of stupid, uninspiring and insipid.

Carter Nix (Lithgow) is obsessed with the development of personality in children, and kidnaps local toddlers (with the help of Cain) for use in his father's vaguely-defined experiments; meanwhile, his bland wife, Jenny (Lolita Davidovich), makes eyes with inexpressive human beefcake Steven Bauer; Carter becomes jealous, and Cain takes over until it is revealed (none too surprisingly) that both men are the same person; this leads up to a well-done (if highly implausible) climax involving a rainstorm, a sundial, a motel balcony, and falling oranges.

, The Untouchables), which perhaps makes it all the more frustrating to witness something like Raising Cain, which - after much consideration - I would have to say is one of the five worst movies I have ever seen.

From that point to the excellent ending, 'Raising Cain' is worth watching.

Also as a curious fact, you can hear about both Raising Cain and Blow Out if you listen to Quentin Tarantino at the Charlie Rose show (interview available on the Collector's Edition DVD of Tarantino's very best film Pulp Fiction and probably also on youtube but I can't confirm that), certainly Tarantino has in De Palma one of his heroes and he considers Blow Out as one of his all time favourites (on that entertaining interview Quentin says that Blow Out, Rio Bravo and Taxi Driver are his 3 favourites films of all time) and Raising Cain as a fascinating experiment of De Palma that was a blast for him.

" It was one of the worst movies I have ever seen.

There are parts of this film that are actually boring, which is usually the last thing De Palma's films can be accused of.

Visually stunning, better pacing throughout the director's edition, wonderful score, and a dreamlike atmosphere.

Raising Cain is a film by Brian De Palma that while well made, is one of the most self indulgent movies I've ever seen.

Confusing, dreary, boring, contrived, incomprehensible both in terms of plot and what it's trying to achieve.

Now I know directors of today love the hyperkenetic, shaking camera and the fast editing technique, but watching "Raising Cain" has awakened why I love the methodical, slow-burning Steadi-cam..that fluid camera flow is a thing of beauty.

Even more enjoyable .

After the critical and commercial public flogging he received for his bastardisation of Tom Wolfe's fascinating, multi-layered and often hilarious novel The Bonfire of the Vanities, Brian De Palma turned back to the genre that had served him well early on his career, the psychological thriller.

it has it's suspenseful moments.

Some parts are scary, some suspenseful, and some hilarious, although they all have the mark of a virtuoso filmmaker - and they succeed because he doesn't take them seriously for a second.

De Palma's tongue-in-cheek twist on his own thriller formula works mainly as an inside joke for his fans - if you're looking for a standard formulaic suspense thriller, watch something else.

not quite the subway scene in The Untouchables, of course), and we get a tension-packed, suspenseful psychological thriller(light, in the way that it uses the Hollywood approach to mental problems; it is actually a brutal, disturbing, bloody and violent piece with some strong sexuality...

What makes it more intriguing is that de Palma tricks the audience with constant flashbacks, dream sequences, and appearances made by "dead" people that are not really dead.

Having said that it at least tries to make the audience think about what's happening on screen, tries to be a bit different, it's a fairly original concept & on a basic level it's fairly watchable & intriguing for those with the patience.

The film did have its share of strange and entertaining supporting characters (like the square mother in the beginning).

The sound is actually the most engaging aspect of the film, which shouldn't be the case in a film as all over the place as this one.

It is evocative, spooky and doesn't feel as derivative as de Palma's eighties work.

well, predictable and unoriginal.

Instead of concentrating on what the audience doesn't know and building up to a yawn-full climax, a cliché that Scream parodies, the film takes on the perspective of the psycho, presenting the audience with more information than other characters.

Pretty Much the only person to blame is: The Director Brian De Palma, most of his movies are extremely confusing, and Raising Cain is no exception.

While this atmosphere is intriguing at first, it becomes so overdone and extravagant that at a certain point I forgot about the underlying plot about baby snatching.

Flawed, Conventional, Predictable and Poorly Written .