Little Sister

"Excellent"

Little Sister Review


The Netherlands' strangest home video comes back to roost in Little Sister, the audicious debut by Dutch filmmaker Robert Jan Westdijk. Shot entirely via handheld video camera, Little Sister outdoes contemporaries like The Blair Witch Project by making a faux documentary that looks real, acts with sophistication and intelligence, and creeps you out with subtle innuendo that doesn't rely on schlock horror gags.

In a tale reminiscent of Peeping Tom and especially the Dogme 95 film The Celebration, the video-obsessed Martijn (played/voiced by three different actors, none of whom are virtually ever seen on camera) pays a surprise visit to his sister (a radiant Kim van Kooten, in her first film) on the day of her 20th birthday. As soon becomes apparent, Martijn has a bit of a chip on his shoulder -- probably something to do with his incestuous lust for his kid sis when she was just nine years old. Seen in frequent flashbacks, it's unclear what their relationship was really like as children, or even who wanted what -- or whom. Over the course of an hour and a half, we are invited to somewhat relive the past, and figure out this twisted bit of history.

Not that Little Sister is particularly titillating or sick. Rather, the film comes off as a quite simple home movie, told by a brother who truly loves his sister, enough so to trick her into dumping her boyfriend so he can get more time with her himself -- but the extent of that love we just don't really know.

The film's conceit and its beauty lie in the recursive nature of its story. The making of Martijn's documentary about his sister is the very film we're watching, as it occurs. Yet late in the movie, Martijn's videotape gets stolen, thus eliminating the existence of what we've just watched. It's a strange puzzle of logic that makes the picture all the richer, and it's enhanced even further by Westdijk's style at telling the subject matter and van Kooten's ingenue-like ability before the camera. At times, though, the use of video works against Westdijk, as the low resolution and washed-out lighting make some scenes difficult to see clearly.

No matter, if you're a fan of psychological thrillers or Scandinavian mysteries like The Kingdom, this newly-released video is worth seeking out.

Aka Zusje.

Hey, sis.



Little Sister

Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 11th January 1996

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Diana, as Adrienne

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.