Tag: Body Double

January 4, 2016 / / Main Slate

Off-screen wolf calls and eerie silhouetted palm trees assault us right-off-the-bat, usher us into a cemetery bathed in spookhouse shadow. A hideous, dead doll-faced monster comes to life and so do we, sit straight up in our seats until, presto, change-o, the great Brian De Palma fools us by revealing it’s only a horror movie set. Indeed! Then again, De Palma is known for throwing ice cold water in our unsuspecting faces. In movies like CARRIE, THE FURY, BLOW OUT, SCARFACE, the first MISSION IMPOSSIBLE and (my personal favorite), DRESSED TO KILL, his key signature—rapturous violence—hypnotizes with its ability to lure us down a sunlit street before hitting us over the head with the dark unknown waiting around every corner. Light aside dark, this is De Palma’s stock-in-trade for he, more than probably any other director I can think of, except maybe his hero, Alfred Hitchcock, poses the question, “How can we recognize the light unless there is something dark beside which it can shine”?