Body Double (1984)
Brian De Palma
114 min., United States
After losing an acting role and finding his girlfriend in bed with another man, Jake Scully (Craig Wasson) moves out and accepts an offer from a fellow actor Sam Bouchard (Gregg Henry) – an offer to house-sit in the Hollywood Hills for a few weeks. Apart from getting the chance to live in a ultramodern and expensive house, he also notices a gorgeous blonde neighbor, Gloria Revelle (Deborah Shelton), who does a seductive dance in front of her window every night. One night while watching her through his telescope, Jake witnesses her murder and it leads him through a world of the adult entertainment industry as he is on a search to find answers with a porn actress, Holly Body (Melanie Griffith), as his guide.
When first released in 1984, Brian De Palma’s Body Double was dismissed as exploitative, which was exactly what Brian De Palma wanted. Riding high on the success of his movie Scarface, De Palma was eager to prove that he couldn’t be beaten. This movie is a complex, provocative thriller which serves as a reminder that when it comes to his films, there is no such thing as just looking – watching is equivalent to participating.
In Body Double Brian De Palma successfully created an unforgettable film that simultaneously pays a tribute to the works of Alfred Hitchcock and somehow remains completely coherent with his own stylistic preferences and vision. This stylized mixture of sex, pornography, voyeurism, gore and overwhelming suspense, he successfully delivers the bulletproof story and the overtly creepy atmosphere.