Although one of his earliest films, SISTERS still stands as director Brian De Palma's greatest contribution to the horror genre. Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt) is a nosy Staten Island, NY reporter who sees neighbor Danielle Breton (Margot Kidder) murder her boy friend, Phillip
(Lisle Wilson). She calls the police, but, when the cops arrive, there is no evidence of foul play, Danielle and a male accomplice (Bill Finley) having cleaned the apartment up and disposed of the body. Determined to crack the case and make a name for herself as a journalist, Grace continues to
investigate on her own with the help of private eye Joseph Larch (Charles Durning). The trail leads her first to the offices of Life magazine, where she learns from a reporter (Barnard Hughes) that Danielle was a Siamese twin who was separated from her sister, Dominique , and it may have been her
twin who committed the murder. Though clearly inspired by PSYCHO (1960) and REAR WINDOW (1954), De Palma actually comes up with some great cinematic embellishments of his own, especially his inventive use of the split-screen technique which builds a great deal of suspense while toying with
audience perception and loyalties. Also powerful are the remarkable flashback and hallucination scenes which provide the intriguing backround. For a De Palma film, SISTERS is surprisingly rich in character and thematics, has an uncharacteristic sense of humor that delights in tweaking the
ineptitude, sexism and racism of the local police force and government bureaucracy, and contains a magnificent performance from Kidder. The wonderful musical score is by Hitchcock's favorite composer, Bernard Herrmann.
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