Brian De Palma is certainly well-known for films like Scarface and Carrie, but there are plenty of his films that I feel are never spoken about. Admittedly, I have not seen many of his films myself, but it is clear that he is a man of many styles. One perfect example of this is his 1973 film, Sisters.
Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt), a Staten Island reporter, witnesses the murder of a young black male in an apartment across the street from hers. When she leads detectives to the residence of model Danielle Breton (Margot Kidder), there is no trace of any foul play. Grace is convinced of what she has seen and decides that if the police won’t investigate further, she will have to do so herself.
While Sisters mostly plays out like a mystery crime film, it has many tropes seen in modern-day slasher films. Although the sub-genre didn’t fully take off until a few years later, this can definitely be seen as a proto-slasher, which helped defined what the sub-genre would become.
Margot Kidder and Jennifer Salt both did very well with their respective roles; They were very believable and really helped move the story along quite naturally. The demand to play multiple characters sounds like a major task, but Kidder was certainly up to it, delivering a great performance.
Oddly enough, there aren’t very many gory scenes in Sisters, but the few shots that do contain blood are rather explicit. A lot of Brian De Palma’s work is influenced heavily by Alfred Hitchcock, but he always managed to up the ante by doing things more visually. The killer’s blade actually being shown entering the victim’s flesh, for instance.
Sisters is a psychological crime movie that plays with the viewers’ senses. If you want to see it at its best, be sure to pick up a copy from Arrow Video’s official webstore. The DVD and blu-ray releases consist of tons of bonus features, including brand new cast and crew interviews and a film-by-film guide to De Palma’s filmography.
I give it 2.5 birthday cakes out of 5.