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Raising Cain – Arrow Video Review

raising cain blu ray review

Arrow Video has decided to give the Brian De Palma thriller Raising Cain the special 2 disc treatment and the result is a fabulous release with two different cuts of the movie with a host of extras.

John Lithgow plays three roles: child psychologist Carter, his evil twin brother Cain, and their Norwegian father, Dr Nix, who likes to experimental on the young. Carter’s wife is concerned that her husband isn’t quite paying their daughter the right kind of attention; she s also having an affair which, upon discovery, threatens to send him into a psychotic rage…

A Great performance by John Lithgow in numerous roles plus De Palma’s fun nods to Hitchcock make this a film that has been very underrated over the years and is definitely one of the most stylish of its era. The cinematography and camerawork are exceptional as you come to expect from the director and it has a story that keeps you guessing until the final reel, especially in the new recut version, which I personally prefer.

Though both cuts contain different transitions between various scenes, the footage is essentially the same in each. While the cinema version put out in 1992 was good, the new cut by megafan and filmmaker Peet Gelderblom, based on De Palma’s second draft screenplay, transforms it into a much more powerful romantic thriller. Comparing these two editions is fascinating and shows how recutting a film can change it in many ways.

john lithgow in raising cain

The Two-disc set from Arrow has a great 1080p transfer of each cut, Contrast and colour are very good and a big leap up from the DVD release. Audio gives you a choice of DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and an uncompressed 2.0 track. Both are fine, free of any hiss or distortion and the soundtrack comes out very well-balanced.

Extras are what Arrow is known for and this release again has plenty to sink your teeth into. Apart from two cuts of the film you get fascinating interviews with John Lithgow and Steven Bauer and an Interview with Editor Paul Hirsch as well as other actors from the film Gregg Henry, Tom Bower and Mel Harris. Also, you get a brand-new interview with composer Pino Donaggio.

Father’s Day is a brand-new video essay about the multiple versions of ‘Raising Cain’ by Chris Dumas, author of ‘Un-American Psycho: Brian De Palma and the Political Invisible. Finally, there is an intro into the De Palma-approved ‘Director’s Cut’ by longtime fan Peet Gelderblom and a video essay by him as he tells us how he reassembled ‘Raising Cain’ to the way De Palma originally intended it to be seen.

Also included is a Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anne Billson so you can see that this is a fully packed special edition that fans of the film should definitely get, especially for the extra cut of the film.


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