Obsession

Obsession ★★★★

It's fun to read this as a critique of Hitchcock's carte blanche misogyny, even though that is actually the opposite of what it is. There is an ugliness here that almost overwhelms the economy and naked but deliberate fetish of De Palma's method, possibly evidence of Schrader's script, as liberally as it is adapted. This is in fact what makes the film unique within De Palma's catalog, providing a glimpse of what his films would look like if he had as little restraint as his other major influence, Dario Argento. Despite Obsession's relative lack of actual on-screen violence, it may be De Palma's most frightening film, achieving an absolutely hysterical emotional frenzy by the end, a cap for nearly three acts of cooked and cooking dysfunction/discomfort. It shares this in common with Vertigo--its clearly stated narrative template--a film that seems more confounded and savage with each viewing. Obsession is even more perverse than all that. Even Herrmann's score sounds drunk.

Something else: this is possibly the most diffuse film you'll see apart from Conquest or something.