Opera

Critics Consensus

The Opera house location gives plenty to work with for director Dario Argento, who hits his decadently bloody high notes here.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 20

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,191
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Movie Info

An obsessed fan stalks a young opperata and kills those who are closest to her.

Cast

Critic Reviews for Opera

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (2)

  • Opera is always heading backwards to move forwards, and ends, bizarrely, with its heroine crawling in joyous derangement amidst the primordial plants and critters of the natural world, in an ultimate act of atavism.

    Jan 21, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Allowing us voyeurs to watch from the stalls as he demonstrates why he's such a master of his art.

    Jan 15, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Opera sees giallo master Dario Argento working at his most gloriously OTT and this 1987 mystery contains all the traits you would expect from the Italian director: mystery, lust, violence and impressive camera work.

    Dec 28, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • An exercise in extremity, always strongest when shunting things into overdrive.

    Dec 10, 2018 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…
  • For every gorgeously composed moment we see of the Macbeth live performances (inside an absolutely stunning opera house that I wish I could make into my very own lavish home), Argento in turn delivers up a merciless and savage death.

    Feb 21, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The color restoration is beautiful and Bluray shows off the color splendidly on home video. The singing is beautiful also. It is a pity the story was not more engaging.

    Jan 15, 2018 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Opera

  • Nov 25, 2013
    Released in 1987, Dario Argento's giallo thriller 'Terror at the Opera' perfectly blends the grandeur of the opera with his unmistakable brand of violence. Cristina Marsillach plays Betty, the beautiful understudy of a soprano who finds herself centre stage when the show's star is in an accident. With her newfound fame comes a cost, however, and Betty soon becomes entangled with a murderous stalker who forces her to watch him kill. 'Terror at the Opera' feels Shakespearian in essence, with ideas about love, obsession, and violence fuelling Argento's vision and immersing viewers in a world of tragedy and death. As well as this the film is very successful in building tension, utilising silence and unconventional camera-angles to great effect and keeping audience members on their toes, waiting for the patented violent Argento outbursts. When the violence comes its brutal and gripping, blood fills the screen and much like the film's protagonist, you'll find yourself unable to look away. The soundtrack is used perfectly and the mix of Opera, heavy metal, and 80s progressive rock perfectly suits the film's unpredictable nature. Despite everything it has going however for it the film feels overlong in its final 2 scenes, becoming somewhat ridiculous and taking away from the experience that preceded them. Verdict: an effective study of audience complicity and voyeurism, Terror at the Opera, despite being great, fails to live up to the high of Argento's earlier work 'Suspiria'.
    Cameron S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 12, 2013
    Oh my God, there's so much to criticize in Argento's Opera, but at the same time it is one of the greatest stylistic horrors. This is an arthouse horror film yet is loaded with brutal grindhouse fashion kills, and absurd music that you'd hear in Funny Games (1997) or A Clockwork Orange (1971). The movie isn't consistently scary but has many intense sequences, including the two cops. It's extremely over the top and Argento he can pull anything within this. For the most part I bought it. The twist at the end I'm not willing to forgive on the other hand. The film strikes similarities with Black Swan (2010) in dark grim style, but this is also equally upbeat and forceful upon the audience. The scene where the camera is in the birds POV is a headache, but there's so much flare to this, I can't help but love it.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Jul 27, 2011
    Exquisitely filmed, well told, and disturbing in a beautiful way. Argento's Opera hits the high note.
    Matt P Super Reviewer
  • May 07, 2011
    *** out of **** As the opening credits for "Opera" begin to roll, we get a glimpse of a black bird, a Raven; perched somewhere in an Opera House. We learn that they serve somewhat of a purpose in the production that is at work down below - Shakespeare's "Macbeth" - although if we learned anything from Edgar Allen Poe, we learned that Ravens are instantaneously a sign of danger, or even death. Both are the case in the context of the film; which is one of the last good, watchable movies from the famed, beloved Italian-born master of horror, Dario Argento. The lead of the in-film Macbeth production is a shy - but talented - young woman named Betty (Christina Marsillach). She is given the role when the original leading lady is unexpectedly injured at random when she's hit by a car; forcing her to become hospitalized since it is mainly her leg that has been fractured. The production director and all those who work alongside him are initially somewhat skeptical of how Betty will do as the replacement actress - and she's crossing her fingers along with them - but much to their surprise, she does quite well, wows the audience, and by the end has herself some adoring fans. Too bad her biggest fan turns out to be a deranged serial killer! One-by-one, the villain assaults and murders Betty's friends and co-workers. Since this is normally a boring plot element, Argento adds a twist; in the form several needles that are stuck to a piece of tape and placed under Betty's eye when the killer ties her up, thus forcing her to watch as her friends are slaughtered alive. The killer explains that if she closes her eyes, then she can wave goodbye to both of them. However, the killer seems to derive pleasure from Betty's fear and emotional deterioration. There are several scenes in which he ties her up and puts the tape on; but every time, he never makes an attempt to kill her. It's implied that perhaps the killer is targeting Betty for reasons at first unknown; which means that all shall be revealed in one of Argento's classy twist endings. And while it's hardly one of the best endings Argento has pulled out of the hat; "Opera" is still a wild, deceptive ride. In my opinion, it has all the bare essentials of a good mystery; a plot that keeps the open-minded viewers involved, characters that - while somewhat under-developed and difficult to remember after the movie has been experienced - come off as decent regardless, with the only real twist being the pleasures of Argento's signature visual stylistics. Through the pitch-perfect combination of what we hear (music) and what we see (the visuals of the film); Argento is able to work with the story and use it as a vehicle for his artistic ventilation. Thematically, Argento doesn't try anything terribly new here; but it's just so goddamn beautiful to look at, to hear, and to experience that you lose the ability to care very quickly indeed. "Opera" demanded my attention and I gladly gave it just that; an early Argento feature, after all, is almost always worth it. But of course, the film has its minor - and major - drawbacks. In spite of being a delightfully bloody and grotesque visual feast of artistry in a genre that often lacks just that; the plot doesn't always hold up as well as we might want it to, and the film sort of goes over-the-top and beyond within the last ten minutes, which were, in my opinion, just plain unnecessary. Entertaining, just like the rest of the movie; but unnecessary. Also, the acting isn't anything particularly special either; although I'm thankful that it was at least competent and watchable. As usual, attention to detail takes center stage over any real human beings; but I've come to expect that from Argento, so I was not surprised. The kills are fantastic, the cinematography is beautiful, the gore effects are remarkable, the blood is plentiful, the suspense and build-up is genuinely impressive, Claudio Simonetti's score is energetic and off-kilter, the mystery at the center of the story is thought-out with much skill and consideration, and overall; this is another 80's Argento offering that isn't great; but is nonetheless quite good. If you aren't the director's biggest fan, then you'll probably think differently; but I stick to what entertains me, and among other things, I find Italian horror films with gore and style to boot especially attractive. They may not be critical favorites, but they are often creepy and satisfactory to those who like them the most. If you're like me and you consider yourself to be a part of the Argento-faithful; then you might just want to see "Opera". Good, bad; it's got a voice, and there's no denying that.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer

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