Il Fantasma dell'Opera (The Phantom of the Opera) Reviews

  • Jan 29, 2019

    Many cinematic enthusiasts go into this film with the wrong mind-set. They are expecting to see a typical Dario Argento horror classic and they don't understand that this is perhaps one of the finest minimalist satires of its decade. Argento had already produced a serious version of Gaston Leroux's famous tale in the form of 1987's "Opera." Now, the Italian legend was out to gently skewer pop culture, showing us a side of himself his fans had not been privy to previously. This ain't your granddaddy's "Phantom" . . . this Phantom is a miserly telepathic mesmerist which is certainly a unique first. There are a lot of little touches which illustrate the fact Argento is winking at his audience. The child being abandoned in the sewer, to be raised by rats instead of penguins as in "Batman Returns." The character of Christine Daae taking the stage at the empty opera house brings to mind Diva Plavalaguna from "The Fifth Element." Seriously, watch the two sequences back-to-back and tell me you don't see the similarities between the exaggerated arm movements and the hitting of the impossible high notes. How about the hilarious moment when the head rat catcher tries to keep his hand from entering the trap? The bird that makes the "woo woo" sound when Alfred and Paulette are getting it on? The biting out of Paulette's tongue which references star Julian Sands's own "Warlock" film from 1989? The waterlogged argument over the more important poetic influence, Rimbaud or Baudelaire? And you still want to tell me this isn't supposed to be a comedy presentation? Add to that the dwarf-riding rat killing machine which looks like a cross between something that came out of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and one of the torture devices from Tinto Brass's "Caligula" and the "Looney Tunes"-like puff of dust Carlotta emits after being cold-cocked by the pillar and the laughs are definitely piling up. In fact, the only thing one should truly take seriously from this film is the fantastic score composed by Ennio Morricone. There's still plenty of blood and guts for the gorehounds but whenever I want some smiles attached to my tale of terror, I know I can rely on this motion picture to provide me with a few.

    Many cinematic enthusiasts go into this film with the wrong mind-set. They are expecting to see a typical Dario Argento horror classic and they don't understand that this is perhaps one of the finest minimalist satires of its decade. Argento had already produced a serious version of Gaston Leroux's famous tale in the form of 1987's "Opera." Now, the Italian legend was out to gently skewer pop culture, showing us a side of himself his fans had not been privy to previously. This ain't your granddaddy's "Phantom" . . . this Phantom is a miserly telepathic mesmerist which is certainly a unique first. There are a lot of little touches which illustrate the fact Argento is winking at his audience. The child being abandoned in the sewer, to be raised by rats instead of penguins as in "Batman Returns." The character of Christine Daae taking the stage at the empty opera house brings to mind Diva Plavalaguna from "The Fifth Element." Seriously, watch the two sequences back-to-back and tell me you don't see the similarities between the exaggerated arm movements and the hitting of the impossible high notes. How about the hilarious moment when the head rat catcher tries to keep his hand from entering the trap? The bird that makes the "woo woo" sound when Alfred and Paulette are getting it on? The biting out of Paulette's tongue which references star Julian Sands's own "Warlock" film from 1989? The waterlogged argument over the more important poetic influence, Rimbaud or Baudelaire? And you still want to tell me this isn't supposed to be a comedy presentation? Add to that the dwarf-riding rat killing machine which looks like a cross between something that came out of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and one of the torture devices from Tinto Brass's "Caligula" and the "Looney Tunes"-like puff of dust Carlotta emits after being cold-cocked by the pillar and the laughs are definitely piling up. In fact, the only thing one should truly take seriously from this film is the fantastic score composed by Ennio Morricone. There's still plenty of blood and guts for the gorehounds but whenever I want some smiles attached to my tale of terror, I know I can rely on this motion picture to provide me with a few.

  • Jul 24, 2017

    Classic Italian horror by the master, Dario Argento. This is not Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version; it is a grittier, gorier, less compassionate version that didn't play well to me. The Phantom, raised by rats who saved him from certain death by pulling him out of a river before he hit the waterfall, is not deformed on the outside but he definitely is on the inside. The lovely Asia Argento, who is not a great actress, plays Christine. The music scenes are not believable in the least. There isn't much to recommend this, other than if you want an example of Italian horror, here it is.

    Classic Italian horror by the master, Dario Argento. This is not Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version; it is a grittier, gorier, less compassionate version that didn't play well to me. The Phantom, raised by rats who saved him from certain death by pulling him out of a river before he hit the waterfall, is not deformed on the outside but he definitely is on the inside. The lovely Asia Argento, who is not a great actress, plays Christine. The music scenes are not believable in the least. There isn't much to recommend this, other than if you want an example of Italian horror, here it is.

  • Feb 22, 2016

    The beginning of the end for Dario Argento's career might also be his lowest point until Dracula 3D. There is really nothing to save there, except maybe some scenarios and costumes.

    The beginning of the end for Dario Argento's career might also be his lowest point until Dracula 3D. There is really nothing to save there, except maybe some scenarios and costumes.

  • Jan 14, 2014

    Argentos "Opera" is better. SInce the two films are basically the same though it's hard to say why this one is bad. BUT at least with his "Opera" it had more..interesting take on it.

    Argentos "Opera" is better. SInce the two films are basically the same though it's hard to say why this one is bad. BUT at least with his "Opera" it had more..interesting take on it.

  • Oct 24, 2013

    It's hard to choose what is worse: characters, scenes or dialogues. Poor Phantom.

    It's hard to choose what is worse: characters, scenes or dialogues. Poor Phantom.

  • Jul 31, 2013

    There are some good things & some very bad things with this film. Some of them even interrupting the good things, which is very annoying. I like the spin on making the phantom even more murderous, but it made him more of a beast then a phantom. The lead was very beautiful and captured the screen. The phantom was fairly good too. If it weren?t for some rediculous humor randomly thrown in silly-like, it would be a good film. But hey, why not see the fat lady?s boob? ??? ....

    There are some good things & some very bad things with this film. Some of them even interrupting the good things, which is very annoying. I like the spin on making the phantom even more murderous, but it made him more of a beast then a phantom. The lead was very beautiful and captured the screen. The phantom was fairly good too. If it weren?t for some rediculous humor randomly thrown in silly-like, it would be a good film. But hey, why not see the fat lady?s boob? ??? ....

  • Jun 01, 2013

    Hands down the worst Argento film, it's not recommended for anyone outside of Argento aficianados and even then I don't want to hear about how you wasted 1 hour and 40+ min. of your life watching this. The cinematography is nice and Asia Argento is beautiful as always (I don't care about her acting skills). But then there's always that thought in the back of your head of, "that's the director's daughter on screen..." and everything goes to hell. The plot is near nonsensical but that is of no consequence in most of this man's films. It feel overlong despite having three or four good to very good death scenes. The acting is the biggest letdown along with many other flaws too numerous to mention.

    Hands down the worst Argento film, it's not recommended for anyone outside of Argento aficianados and even then I don't want to hear about how you wasted 1 hour and 40+ min. of your life watching this. The cinematography is nice and Asia Argento is beautiful as always (I don't care about her acting skills). But then there's always that thought in the back of your head of, "that's the director's daughter on screen..." and everything goes to hell. The plot is near nonsensical but that is of no consequence in most of this man's films. It feel overlong despite having three or four good to very good death scenes. The acting is the biggest letdown along with many other flaws too numerous to mention.

  • Aug 25, 2012

    Not disfigured, friggin rats every where, and, what is there a mask on the cover? He's doesn't ware a mask in it, like Erik should.

    Not disfigured, friggin rats every where, and, what is there a mask on the cover? He's doesn't ware a mask in it, like Erik should.

  • Jul 06, 2012

    I got through about three minutes. Cheap and tacky. And the vocals were lacking in order to have Asia in there. Sorry sweetie. Opera isn't your thing.

    I got through about three minutes. Cheap and tacky. And the vocals were lacking in order to have Asia in there. Sorry sweetie. Opera isn't your thing.

  • May 31, 2012

    I have a lot to say about this movie... all bad things... But all I will say is you can't have Phantom of the Opera without the Phantom wearing a mask!

    I have a lot to say about this movie... all bad things... But all I will say is you can't have Phantom of the Opera without the Phantom wearing a mask!