Posted on 10/26/12 11:54 AM
Surprising Keen Yielding Funny Adventurous Luxurious Lovely
Posted on 10/09/12 11:06 AM
Lovable Original Outstanding Powerful Energetic Ravishing
Posted on 2/20/12 10:53 AM
Deceiving, pretentious, and dull!!!
The plot is ridiculous and unconvincing! Basically it revolves around a young boy Dalton (Ty Simpkins), who in his sleep has the ability to perform out-of-body experiences and wonder around. The young boy is unable to fully control this skill and let's just say that he loses orientation. While he's in this state, evil forces and spirits want and try to take over his body. The parents Renai and Josh Lambert (Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson) and the father's mother (Barbara Hershey) , eventually decide to call the "ghostbusters", who they call the "terminator" Elise Reiner (Lin Shaye), and then the party begins!!!
The movie begins by trying to introduce this family, the parents and their three children, and it somewhat achieves it but there is not much connection between the viewer and this characters. Then as they live their careless life, a series of spooky and unexplained events mark the onset of this drama. The mother plays the psychotic part and faces all these mysterious happenings that drive her crazy, while the husband acts as the voice of reason and tries to restore balance. The two other children are somewhere in the house quiet so that not to disturb with the whole procedure, one is around 6 and the other is still in her crib, and after a certain point we just lose track of them, maybe the also got bored and fall asleep who knows! Also the movie can be very predictable at some point which sucks, and in moments were it was supposed to scare it just didn't.
Moreover, at a certain point the know-it-all lady suggests that the situation is very crucial and the have to act fast, take drastic measures and even use unorthodox techniques! Yeah, as if the whole thing isn't already unorthodox, but of course that's what we want and what we expected, so no arguments here! My argument and question is why this movie didn't push the events even into more extreme venues?! Yes its a better version of those "Paranormal Activity" films, but unfortunately once more not scary, not creepy, and not haunting enough! Its mostly loud "scary" music and tunes, shaky lights and camera, people screaming as if they are being slaughtered, which is not the case unluckily, and really there is little compassion towards the family and their son's bad fortune. At the end they tried to achieve something interesting, but even that didn't end well.
There aren't many redeeming factors but at least, even through the sound effects, there are a couple of spooky scenes but seriously between you and me the scariest of all were the facial expressions of Lin Shaye, she was indeed freaky! In conclusion, it saddens me to say this but I was really disappointed and so I can't recommend this movie :(
Posted on 10/16/11 10:23 AM
It could have been better, but for now it was pretty awesome!
The main cast often holds an entertaining attitude during the mystery built up and the two leads have great chemistry with certain delightful ups and downs. Some may find Downey's English accent tiring after a while but it gets better with time. The actor fits perfectly to the part and he's genius, witty and precise, with a touch of charming arrogance. Jude Law as Watson is quite good, carries himself nicely, and is always there to assist in the investigations and fights. Blackwood, the villain, played by Mark Strong is an ambitious, controlling, and dark character with certain aces up his sleeve. He plays dirty, but not just dirty enough.
I enjoyed any sort of detective gadgets and tricks, the cloudy and dark London scenery, the action sequences, and of course the accompanied music by Hans Zimmer. Its adventurous and intense, and maintains the viewers interest in fair amounts throughout the movie. The best scenes, according to my preferences, are those that take place at the slaughterhouse, Holmes insightful ritual that leads him to put significant case details in order, and the climax sequence.
All in all, it was a mixture of exciting and clever elements, so If you still haven't seen it check it and have fun. I don't know what to expect from the sequel, but I certainly hope for more awesomeness ;)
Posted on 9/09/11 06:56 AM
Sad, Hysteric, Unbearable, Torturous, Disdainful, Obtrusive, Woozy, Numb!!!
Final Argento movie for now and he certainly lost his touch. On his "defense" the movies script was written by fan-boys Jim Agnew and Sean Keller who wanted Dario Argento to direct, but still this is not an excuse. This movie, with such a title could have been like a homage to his own great creations over the past years but instead it managed to be the exact opposite. This is no giallo film, its just the leftovers of the once great director and genre creator.
In Italy, Linda (Emmanuelle Seigner) fears her sister Celine (Elsa Pataky), a model, may have been kidnapped. Inspector Enzo Avolfi (Adrien Brody) realizes that she has been abducted by a serial killer. This psychopath, called Giallo (yellow) kidnaps beautiful women in a taxi, drugs them, mutilates them, and finally murders them. He photographs his actions and gains sexual gratification with his creations. Linda and Avolfi team up to rescue her from the sadistic killer known as Giallo (yellow).
This plot is a bit of a mess, often acts like a parody to his real giallo films, and its excessively unrealistic about the way a police investigation is carried out. The victims sibling should have been kept safe away from this dangerous lookout for this vicious murderer while instead she recklessly accompanies the overconfident detective, she has access to victims files, and she's undecided about how to act. She goes from scared, to desperate, to weird, and to suspicious. Avolfi was unbelievable, very arrogant, supposedly in control of the events, and with a past that haunts him and became the reason he entered in this freaky pursuit. The killers identity is revealed soon enough so no much mystery here, and the way he goes about harming the beautiful victims soon becomes boring and uninteresting. The victim for which all this fuss is about, settles in pointless screaming while kept hostage in a deserted basement alike place. With a little effort she could break free and escape since she was in room full of cutlery.
Also, the flashback sequences got annoying and until you realize their purpose you just don't care any more. The same can be said about the characters who try to pose as heroic figures but who fail to gain any interest. Oh and the ending is so unsatisfying that can be described as the apex of boredom. The movie is a mixture of all that's bad, unoriginal, and miserable. All effort to create atmospheric and creepy scenes, ended up as plain ridiculous, unconvincing, and unimpressive. The gore within is as flat and ineffective as the bland characters. There is a bizarre piece of trivia about two characters, which I won't spoil but I'm wondering why that happened. By the time it was all over I had no idea why Argento decided to even bother with this crappy script.
This is a case where mystery and slasher serial killer scenario didn't work well. The cliches, and the lack of effort by all pushed this movie to the bottom. I am so bored after this movie and I've had enough with such cheap horror movies and disappointments, and I guess its time to move on. Avoid, unless for personal reasons you want to see it.
"Too beautiful... he hates beautiful things."
All in all Dario Argento is a great director, but the kind who has too many ups and downs. He gave the world a fair amount of wonderful horror fiction films, but he also let us down more than once. Going through his filmography was like riding a roller coaster. There were awesome thrills, memorable moments and heartbeats of excitement and fear, but also the unavoidable dizziness, nausea, and the need to eventually step out. I enjoyed this marathon, but its obvious that lately it wasn't very pleasant. However If you want to check any of his movies and give him a chance then definitely do so. Those who are not interested in his movie themes won't miss anything since this is not their idea of a good time, which of course is acceptable. Personally I'm still curious to check his future movie but I really hope for something decent.
Posted on 9/07/11 05:33 AM
Shallow, Promiscuous, Lazy, Ineffective, Troubling!!!
This was a television movie which Dario Argento directed and co-wrote once more with Franco Ferrini. This movie is like a love letter to the world-known film director and "Master of Suspense" Alfred Hitchcock, and its pretty easy to pinpoint the notable film references. In fact this was the best aspect the movie offered and it kept me intrigued as to what the next ref would be. Argento did a fine job by inducting identifiable resembling scenes and themes to Hitchcock's creations, and so this movie was rescued from distraction.
Giulio (Elio Germano) is a college film student, obsessed with Alfred Hitchcock, and fate has him investigating a murder committed in the apartment across from his building. After mysterious interactions he suspects that his seductive neighbor Sasha (Elisabetta Rocchetti) hired a girl Federica (Chiara Conti) to kill her mother, with whom she was supposedly arguing on a daily basis. Sasha and Federica met at the local video store run by Andrea (Iván Morales) and they shared movie interests. The plot revolves around young Giulio who is driven by curiosity and sees movie connections to this case and he becomes an amateurish searcher and "stalker" to uncover the killer. His girlfriend Arianna (Cristina Brondo) couldn't believe his theories and she even recommended he visits a shrink. In good time Giulio was approaching the truth, or at least that's what he thought, and when he least expected it... Just when the mystery seems to have resolved, the climax has yet to come.
Honestly I was very undecided whether or not I liked this movie. I loved the idea of this regular guy watching/spying with his binoculars through his neighbors apartments windows, and then how he connected movie characteristics and premises to the murder case he was dealing with. I enjoyed the young actors performance, he was a likable and believable movie buff and his reactions to all the events were accompanied by his constant interest and enthusiasm. He wasn't trying to pose as anything special and he was rather simple, and so enjoyable. I can't say that the rest of the cast were impressive or that I cared for them, except maybe Arianna for a bit. She did acted silly and recklessly at some point and she went from disclaiming her boyfriend's ideas to getting psyched and running towards danger.
On the contrary the plot has many issues. Firstly the motivation for this murder was lame, even if it left the mastermind a big fat bonus. Then the movie lacked decent background info about the two girls under suspicion for conspiracy who were met very abruptly, and yes I understand that this was part of the plan but it just wasn't really convincing that the two had come to any agreement. If Sasha wanted her to kill her mother, then what did Federica asked for exchange? Giulio tried to give us an answer to that which simply left him with an ankle fracture and the information he acquired made him confirm his suspicion but... that went nowhere. Thirdly a character was clumsy and very obvious that he was up to something, and when eventually his true colors got revealed the only person who was surprised was Giulio. Of course their struggle was really good, intense, agonizing, bloody, and more or less hurtful for both. Then those flashbacks seem pointless and uninspiring to me, and the only inference I can draw is that Giulio had always been and he still is a curious boy. Lastly, I was annoyed by the final twist... not satisfying at all and just confusing as to another characters supposed involvement. I know it sounds messy, but it is. Oh and only two people died in this movie and I only kinda cheered for one.
Visually the best shots are the ones when the lights go out! The camera gets playful and all over the place, it follows the killer and his pray where the bloody red is gracefully added, it accompanies a suspect while attempting to cover tracks and get rid off incriminating evidence in a game of light and shadow, and the buildings huge glass window offers a beautiful and exciting staircase sequence. Plus all the "peeping" scenes are presented nicely in a smooth breezy flare and with mild nudity, which makes them undeniably eye catchy and makes me sound more and more like a weirdo, but I don't care! Well the very last scene was... I don't know why it was there but I laughed with someone's attitude. The movie tried to offer a striking climax on a rooftop, but it remained at the effort as far as I am concerned. All I know is that unfortunately my wish wasn't granted. During the lights on scenes things go back to plain ordinary but in two sequences, which surprisingly both started in a bathroom!
It feels like the movie repeatedly tries to seduce one in its daze by any means, but overall it gets undesirably too assuming and a disappointing guessing game. It lacks gore, but I can accept that since its a television movie. However I can't overlook the script's lack of real suspense, the dull acting from the majority, the weak twists, the silliness, the needless comedy bits apart from a few shots, and its aggravating tardiness. In the end its one of those cases where I'll just say watch at your own discretion ;)
"People have killed for a lot less."
Posted on 9/04/11 05:36 AM
Intriguing, Nifty, Tricky, Energetic, Neat, Striking, Elevating!!!
Who knew that a game of poker could have been so fascinating! Luckily this time director Dario Argento and co-writer Franco Ferrini made a movie that really kept my interest throughout, like in past projects. This movie knows its aim from the start and nothing goes wasted.
A serial killer known as "The Card Player" is kidnapping young women in Rome, uses a webcam and challenges the police by forcing them to play hands of Internet poker. If the killer wins the victim is tortured and murdered online, but If the police wins he spares the victims life by release. When a British tourist is among the girls murdered, a British Interpol agent John Brennan (Liam Cunningham) is assigned the case and quickly teams up with Italian Detective Anna Mari (Stefania Rocca). The girl's fates is on their hands, and more abductions follow. They all try to catch the murderer, but he seems to be a step ahead. The case gets more and more personal and all involve risk their life.
This movie focuses more on tension and mystery build up through its plot, and its not the usual gore-fest. There are some shots that may disgust some, like corpse examinations, but overall the main focus is to form great suspense, worth caring characters, and satisfying twists. The killer covers his track quite well, and becomes above suspicion. The profile they created places him/her as a risk-taking hedonist, and the police tries to back track records of obsessive risk-takers. They follow leads and tips and when they pump into a gifted poker player Remo (Silvio Muccino), they convince him to helps them win and save lives. At the end when the killer is revealed, the motive is rather desperate and psychotic and not the best thing but the cinematic climax is definitely worth it. The last stand which involves a speeding train, its thrilling and can keep you on the edge of your seat. Also, the pacing is spot on and rarely it feels slow.
The characters are easily likable and interesting. They can either make you sympathize with them or they challenge you through their actions and dare you to suspect them as possible killers. The three main characters are very well developed and believable. We get to know them good enough to care for their fade, and even worry when they are in danger. Plus there is great tension during the poker games, they act realistically, nervously, stressed, happy if they win and you can see in their eyes how seriously they take their roles. The overall movie could have been based on real events and I wouldn't be surprised. Its somehow simplistic how everything unfolds and it may all seem like just a game from time to time, but its a sick one and they know it must be stopped. The killer is clever, knows how to organize a game, has no mercy for losers, exterminates any threats based on their weaknesses, and seems to be in control. Its hard to forget him, or better he never quits to provoke.
Argento surprised me with how atypical he was compared to his previous giallo films, but for me he succeeded in making a great serial killer mystery like a detective story. The appearance of the dead bodies are amazing and freaky and I liked those scenes, and the medical examiner was amusing. Basically there is some blood only in one pretty cool scene but most of the deaths are implicit. The murderer's finale is exhilarating and ironically dramatic. Plus there are certain camera shots that are really good, the setting is beautiful, and all the action scenes really exciting. I really liked the atmospheric sequence in Anna's house, Remo's "dilemma" scene, and John's fearless curiosity to discover the truth.
Overall this was a very straightforward approach by Argento, he changed his style a bit but thankfully this experiment was successful, for my eyes at least. Those who go in expecting a gruesome movie will be disappointing, but since he gave us enough of that I found this alternative point of view refreshing and effective. Maybe some will distinguish who the killer is but still the journey is worth it. Personally I was pleased and so I can recommend it to anyone who can see himself enjoying it ;)
"When you play with a superior advisory try to destabilize him, distract him, guide him to a state of confusion."
Posted on 9/02/11 06:16 AM
Scrappy, Lazy, Oblivious, Pathetic, Powerless, Yapping!!!
Directed by Dario Argento and co-written with Franco Ferrini, this movie is like a recycled comeback from past glories in the giallo genre. Its not as engaging and intriguing as some of his previous creations, and I would much more prefer it as a short film with more suspense.
Detective Ulisse Moretti (Max von Sydow) who investigated a series of murders in 1983 known as The Dwarf Murders, after the death of a main suspect and the end of the killings the authorities closed the case. Seventeen years later and into the present, a similar series of murders begin that draw the attention of now retired Moretti. He teams up with Giacomo (Stefano Dionisi), whose mother was murdered in the 1983 spree, to determine if de Fabritiis, the past's suspect, is still alive and dangerous or innocent of all accusations. As the murders continue, the two men investigating discover that the murderer is arranging the victims to an old nursery rhyme which involves killing animals.
The story was a bit hard to get at first cause I was unable to fully focus on what various characters were talking about here and there, or maybe its cause this movie has plenty unnecessary characters and dialogue. Then there are the abrupt scenes and the "introduction" to people who still remain unknown as to their utility, and then we jump into a bit disturbing and disgusting murders with the weird animal connections. Alongside with every corpse, there is a piece of paper with an animal figure, which act as clues to the killers actions and motives. The movie suffers from bad acting, with annoying and clumsy reactions, characters unable to make themselves believable and worthy of attention. I can't say they made me care for them and I was mostly bland throughout. The killer strikes periodically and cleans the picture from the silly presence of supportive cast members, none of which was really developed and the only person who tried and did all the hard work died before celebrating his discovery. That's unfair.
Elusively and confusedly we get pieces of information to the fuzzy back story of this bizarre murderer, and I felt that the movie really started after forty minutes in. Thanks to scattered info I was able to start working on this rusty puzzle and gaining understanding of what I was watching, but still the movie has issues. There is a serious editing problem and lack of good story coherence, which results to the huge problem of its dull and sleepy pacing. The movie could have been better without the many random and pointless sequences, and if it was right on target it would have ended within 40mins and hopefully it would have been really effective and better. Meanwhile it was the complete opposite.
In all the mess though, the music is a definite positive. From the intro soundtrack that is welcoming the viewer to a promising intense thriller, to the very end its catchy and its Goblin!!!! That's why its so freaking awesome, and I can say without hesitation that its the best feature in here. Powerful, exciting, and even eerie, it really helped me to pull through this cheap movie. A mixture of synthesizer, electric guitar, and fast beats was thankfully consistent and never disappointed me. Also, I liked the reading poem scene because is was quite amusing, unexpected, and interesting in appearance with the popping animal figures. Plus I enjoyed the few flashbacks cause they added substance to what was happening, and all the gruesome and really violent murder scenes.
I can't say that Argento impressed me but even in all the catastrophe there were a few beautiful shots, but my favorite has to be the one that starts from the theater as the camera moves from a long detailed red carpet to a strangulation, shown first as shadows, and then to a decapitation. Oh and at some scenes the buildings were presented dark and pretty which that was nice as well. In spite of all, I was only hooked during the last twenty minutes. At that point finally the events were unfolding quite thrilling and mysteriously. An unexpected character opened the path to some last minute effort to entertain. I wasn't blown away with who the killer was, I thought it was ridiculous, but I was satisfied with his finale! It was really cool and it made me feel much better cause I really disliked this villain, his sick personality, and his hideous alternative voice.
Overall this movie was better off being entitled "Senseless." Its an awfully never-ending and boring movie, undecided of its aim, absolutely forgettable, and not atmospheric at all. Just the music, a few icky and quite graphic killing scenes from time to time, and waiting for the mystery's resolution kept me from watching, but not even those could prevent my disappointment. If you decide to give it a chance its your wasted time, but honestly its a movie to avoid :(
"I killed animals too, but my real nature was... something different."
Posted on 8/29/11 06:51 AM
Mindless, Elliptic, Shallow, Senseless!!!
This unnecessary movie by Dario Argento is definitely his worst creation, the one with no redeeming factors. He took the classic story and turn it into an absolute disaster. Somewhat adapted from the novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux, this effort to approach this story is simply pointless. He gave us "Opera" (1987) which I really liked, and then he took all the positives off from that movie, changed the setting and the cast and made this atrocity with co-writer Gerard Brach. Its just sad.
In Paris 1877, rats save a baby from death and raise him in the underground of the Opera de Paris. This child becomes The Phantom of the Opera (Julian Sands) and falls in love with Christine Daaé (Asia Argento), an opera singer on her prime. He uses telepathy to communicate with her, and soon enough seduces her and they form a romantic relationship. He fights for her love against the aristocratic Baron Raoul De Chagny (Andrea Di Stefano), who Christine seems to love as well. Plus The Phantom tries to exterminate an older opera diva Carlotta Altieri (Nadia Rinaldi) so that Christine can take her part. Throughout The Phantom tries to win over Christine's heart, but she's not always in agreement with his actions.
Firstly, I must say this movie has little to do with the story as you know it. Honestly if there was no sign of the Opera house, no singing, characters with different names, and another title I could look at this from another perspective and like it a bit more, but now it just seems too wrong. Its very absurd and unbelievable, and then becomes ridiculous and forgettable. The whole rats save and breed the baby scenario is hard to accept, and the viewer has no choice but to let it be and see how this weird bond will evolve. Then there are the bad gory and violent scenes, that left me completely untouched and they didn't manage to save the movie much. You see rat attacks, hideous murders of not important secondary cast members, a decapitation, a tongue being chopped off, a bizarre rape scene, etc. supposedly shocking scenes scattered here and there with no actual impact.
Secondly, none of the characters caught my eye and helped me understood their actions and their hypothetical love chemistry. They were written falsely, and executed even worse. They lacked emotion, charm, and realism, and they were completely uninspiring. You'll see a non facial disfigure phantom and so without a mask, but a mentally disturbed one with cruel intentions and a soft spot for Christine's singing skills. Julian Sands looked like he was trying to convince himself and deliver decent dramatic scenes, but he appeared clumsy, moody, confused, and unable to scare with his acting. He is a stalker, he has rats for friends, and he lives in desolation. Asia was over-the-top, undecided, annoying, and a dumb gal in distress who was unable to justify her actions. She was a puppet in the hands of the Phantom, she loved and hated him simultaneously, and then out of the blue she realized she was in love with someone else. She went from slapping the Phantom, to crying for him and she was a boring drama queen who acted like an apple of discord.
Thirty, not even the background music by Ennio Morricone with the classical pieces was a plus, since it was vague and unnoticeable. The miserable performances, the dull dialogue, and the overall uninteresting picture didn't allow the music to shine and add some excitement. Plus, the direction is really pitiful and Argento seemed unable to follow and maintain an effective approach to give life to this awful script. There is incoherence, it feels too jumpy, chaotic, and artless. We know little about certain characters and this doesn't help at all in creating the basis for their potential likability. Also certain scenes that require more screen time were rushed, and instead we see more about some irrelevant, silly characters and their rat obsession. Even the famous chandelier scene failed to impress and stand out, and in general there wasn't much opera setting, and singing. It was mostly dark underground chamber scenes and once more questionable. No real scary atmospheric sequences, no believable interaction amongst the lead characters to build up a relationship, and no desire to let us into their story. All in all its a very careless and cheap direction, and a big letdown. Oh and when he tried to use aimless nudity, graphic sex, and sick thrills as a fast mean to grasp the viewers attention, it was an obvious desperate act that only pushed the movie even lower.
Overall, I was really hoping to like it but I ended up watching a dreadful bore-fest rather than a good horror movie. Nothing really kept me from watching, but my curiosity on how low it will go. By the end it hit bottom, and it hurt. Its very disappointing and I do not recommend at all, unless you want to witness the existence of the worst version of this classic tale. Worst than Dwight H. Little in 1989, and even worst than Joel Schumacher in 2004. I'm dead honest this is the winning loser of all "The Phantom of the Opera" movies I saw. Its abysmal :(
Posted on 8/21/11 06:34 AM
Stylish, Tricky, Radical, Impressive, Kinky, Insane, Neat, Gutsy!!!
This is a breathtaking psychological thriller directed by Dario Argento and co-Written along with Franco Ferrini, influenced by Graziella Magherini's novel. This movie is certainly unusual and complex, deals with themes that are unexplainable and challenging, and therefore it becomes unique. It deals with the mind's immensity and how one can get lost within himself. Its an adventurous delirium of both uncertainty and explicitness, accompanied by beauty.
Detective Anna Manni (Asia Argento) travels to Florence on the trail of a serial killer Alfredo Grossi (Thomas Kretschmann). While at a museum, Anna is struck by the Stendhal Syndrome, which causes people to become overwhelmed by great works of art which result into having dizziness and hallucinations. The killer uses this disorder against Anna, kidnapping and raping her. She escapes, but remains deeply traumatized. When she finds the strength to go against the killer, one of them ends us suffering more than the other, but on the long term the one who is left behind experiences madness.
The plot set off very powerfully and keeps that exciting pace for a fair amount of time and then when events take another turn, around the middle, it hits the break and slows down gradually only to step on the gas once more and give us more tension and a wonderful twist. This movie is so much better than what I expected. Its freaking wild, definitely sadomasochistic and psycho-sexual at some parts along with brutal or sensual scenes but always within the art spectrum. The script is clever, and engaging with a greatly developed lead female character and an interesting supportive cast, with wonderful twists, and plenty of memorable action. The dialogue is striking at some parts with how straightforward it is with its profanity, but I think it was appropriate cause it added realism, sarcasm, comic and dramatic irony, and it was representable of what the character was psychologically suppressing earlier, due to physical abuse.
The characters seem to really be quite vivid, convincing and very believable in many moments. The performances are surprisingly really good, powerful, scary, crazy, bizarre, and basically the two main cast members managed to transfer to me various emotions. Too bad one of them wasn't in even more. This is the best Asia Argento performance I saw up to this point. This time she begins kind of lost and in trance when being mesmerized by museum paintings, and then a series of rapes and traumatic events lead her to a personality change and discord. She gets extremely moody, then very tough and frantic, then uncertain and confused, then soft and vulnerable, and when you least expect it she was able to find inner strength to fight her fears fully determined. She was trying to escape from all her trouble, and she was visiting a psychiatrist Dr. Graziella Magherin (Paolo Bonacelli) who tries to help her discover herself. The discussions with him are amongst the best sequences in the movie, and they offer great insight to the viewer as well. Alfredo Grossi was a sick fuck, excuse the language but its only suitable, and he was smashing in his part. He was a perfect serial killer, frightening, vulgar, disturbed, and nightmarish.
During the movie, there is a great amount of blood, and gruesome scenes which are always enhanced with twisted violence. They can a bit disgusting but mostly oddly seductive that is hard not to stare at them. Visually it either feels like being in an art gallery or museum, with all the lurid paintings and the sculptures which appear more vivid than ever with the magical induction of CGI. This was the first Italian film to use this technique and I must say it was pretty cool, and greatly used without overloads. In addition, there are moments that resemble a dirty dungeon or a torture chamber with colorful graffiti on the walls that under the "right" state of mind they come alive, and those gloomy scenes are amongst my favorites. However in all the chaotic mess and obscurity we get to see bright settings, nature shots, lovely landscapes and locations.
Ennio Morricone's eerie music score for the film follows the same tune played either forward or backward. The music is really good, it can be both soft as well as energetic. Its simple and charming and matches the overall psychotic atmosphere without overshadowing it. The background melodies don't steal the show, and they can even be unnoticed because the picture is much more powerful, but there are a few scenes where the music attributes mystery and uneasiness in a gentle yet steady freaky sound. Rarely the music throws in high pitch sudden notes, but when this happens is very affective in combination to the associative picture.
Argento did a splendid job with the valuable assistance of cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno, who added an old lasting beauty to the movie that really brought out the best from each scene. I absolutely loved the usage of light, sunlight or technical light, and how they used it to focus on the eyes of the character or not, and express determination or melancholy. Also there are some fine zoom in scenes, and the special effects within can easily make one gaze at the picture. Its definitely a film with Argento's touch, yet he was often unconventional and offered new thrills. There is surrealism, madness, and blood but I enjoyed how he focused on the characters. He captured their horrific minds through their actions in spite of their attractiveness, and showed how vicious they could get under various circumstances. Their loss of control, their impulsion, and their disturbed personalities were the highlights. Its interesting how the director put aside the fact that Asia is his daughter, and had her torment with such an oppressive and perplex role. This movie reflected a personal attachment to the subject, since in his youth he experienced the Stendhal syndrome. The experience was so long lasting and unforgettable that he immediately recalled it when he came across Magherini's book. He decided to tell this tale through his daughter, and he marvelously explored the unconscious psyche of his lead, until the dramatic climax that brought me mix feelings of curiosity and compassion. Behind some vivid shades of color, captivating backgrounds, and all the shocking scenes, at the end its a somber story with tragic characters and an artistic approach.
This movie is memorable, has an awesome story that rarely feels dull, and at least two performances that will amaze you. Its unreasonable and abstract, but highly effective this time. From beginning to end it had my full attention and I often caught myself watching with unblinking eyes. Its thrilling and even disturbing, but always hypnotizing. However this movie is not for all but I highly recommend it to those who can handle its greatness apart from the bloody violent scenes and certainly Argento fans must watch it ;)
"Works of art have power over us. Great works of art, have great power!"