What’s It About? Danielle (Margot Kidder) meets a potential boyfriend in the form of Philip (Lisle Wilson) whilst appearing on a TV show. She invites him back to her house, yet this attracts the attention of her twin sister Dominique (Kidder). From across the courtyard of the sisters’ apartment lives reporter Grace (Jennifer Salt) who witnesses Philip being murdered by one of the sisters. But when the police arrive there isn’t any trace of a crime, so Grace takes things into her own hands and discovers a sister relationship not to be bargained with.
Verdict: Just a few short years before his explosive gore fest Carrie, director Brian De Palma broke his horror film duck by delving into the nightmare world of two sisters with serious issues towards each other. The influence of Hitchcock’s Rear Window (and some of his other films) is obvious from the outset. But whilst De Palma may be accused of ripping off The Master Of Suspense, what separates each director is that Hitch stopped short of going too far whereas De Palma takes things to another level with extremely graphic scenes. The first death is pretty gory even by today’s torture porn standards and it haunts the entire film. Long fluid camera movements linger with a constant air of trepidation and his experimental use of split screens conveys the sense of split personalities. The crescendo finale ignites into a furore of explicit and terrifying surprises. The film is beautifully scored by the majestic tones of Bernard Hermann, who echoes his Psycho soundtrack to provide added Hitchcockian style for De Palma.
Margot Kidder, who will always be remembered as Lois Lane, gives a spellbinding dual performance as both sisters. She sweeps through Danielle with breezy nonchalance but role reverses with Dominique in nasty proportions. Kidder has served the horror community well over the years and it’s all thanks to her psychotic turn in this film. Jennifer Salt appears to be running on one style, but in terms of the film it works wonders in contrast against the sisters.
Extras: As with many Arrow releases, Sisters has been beautifully restored with cleaner sound and clearer picture, and it also includes the original mono audio. There are all new interviews with some of the cast and crew including co-writer Louisa Rose and actress Jennifer Salt. The De Palma Digest is a 30-minute doc, narrated by critic Mike Sutton, on the legendary director. What The Devil Hath Joined Together is a fascinating 45-minute visual essay about the production history and themes explored in Sisters.
Final Words: With homages apparent and De Palma letting his horror hang out, Sisters is a deeply twisted film on the pinpoint of psychological horror/thriller. Sisters are it doing for themselves … and the devil.