Sister, Sister

SISTER, SISTER is pure southern gothic horror (in the tradition of HUSH...HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE) that begins promisingly enough, but then quickly disintegrates into a dull, predictable, and at times absurd chiller. Two sisters, Charlotte (Judith Ivey) and Lucy (Jennifer Jason Leigh), live together in the Louisiana bayou in a giant old plantation house left...read more

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SISTER, SISTER is pure southern gothic horror (in the tradition of HUSH...HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE) that begins promisingly enough, but then quickly disintegrates into a dull, predictable, and at times absurd chiller. Two sisters, Charlotte (Judith Ivey) and Lucy (Jennifer Jason Leigh), live

together in the Louisiana bayou in a giant old plantation house left them by their parents. Charlotte devotes much of her time to caring for the younger and more "delicate" Lucy (it is hinted that Lucy has had some emotional problems in the past). Because Charlotte fears that separation from her

sister will cause a relapse, she refuses the marriage proposals of the kindly local sheriff (Dennis Lipscomb). Lucy, a pale, lonely girl, spends much of her time fantasizing about ghosts and dreaming up Harlequin Romance-style sexual scenarios with handyman Etienne (Benjamin Mouton). All this

sexual repression threatens to explode when handsome young congressional aide Matt Rutledge (Eric Stoltz) arrives on holiday. Beautifully shot in a wide-screen format, SISTER, SISTER is easy to look at but hard to take. Directed and coscripted by STRANGE INVADERS writer Bill Condon in his feature

directorial debut, the picture is all misty mood and little else. Luckily, Condon has cast two excellent actresses in the leads; Ivey and Leigh are impressive, striking all the right contrasts and similarities as two adult siblings. While Condon should be commended for trying to steer the horror

film away from the routine slasher fare that has nearly ruined the genre, he has failed to notice that he drove it right back into the ranks of boring gothic thrillers that slasher prototype HALLOWEEN rebelled against in the first place.

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