16 May 2006 | lost-in-limbo
De Palma's slick peepshow.
Jake is a washed up actor who walks in on his girlfriend with another man and so it means his got to find another place to live. Plus he is fired from the vampire movie he was involved in because that of his phobia of confined places. So, when Jake is checking about for some acting gigs he meets another struggling actor who offers him place to house sit and it does have its perks. Through a telescope he can spy on his neighbours, which through one window a lady goes through the same strip routine every night. Jake becomes extremely obsessed with the woman and he gets caught up in a seedy web of intrigue when he witness the woman being killed.
De Palma goes all out on this occasion with his obsession with Hitchcock and the master's films that are under the spotlight in this voyeuristic thriller are "Rear Window" and "Vertigo". While, there might be elements borrowed from those films, De Palma still brings to the party his own distinguishable style and perspective. I've enjoyed most of his works and this one joins the ranks. Well, maybe one of the lesser ones since I was a bit iffy on it at times. I'll admit - it's pure trash, but technically it's done so well with many fashionable touches worked into this artistic piece of steamy erotica that I just found it hard to take my eyes off it. Some of those facets that make a mark is the camera-work that's handle rather silkily with it's many gliding shots and innovative angels. The taunting score rallies up the tension remarkably well and actually generates an alarming awe. There are some odd, kinky and down and out heart stopping images like that of the infamously lurid drill scene and a couple of downright claustrophobic build ups. The female cast involving Melanie Griffith and most definitely Deborah Shelton are desirably seductive. Craig Wasson as the down on his luck actor Jake was solid, but it's the freaky villain of the piece "The Indian" that will catch your eye and make you real nervous. Also there's a neat cameo role by Dennis Franz as a director, which is a neat treat. The over-the-top story tightly constructs itself around a complicated web of twists and turns involving sleaze and murder, but when it came to its climax it felt convoluted and rushed. The confusing revelation doesn't seem as effective and clever as it may think. Hollywood even comes under fire with it being mock with De Palma using the porn industry to do so. Anyhow, remember to shut your blinds, as who knows maybe someone is peering into your window right now. ;)
"Body Double" is a flawed, but an interesting concept that I could not help but go with the flow.