Phenomena (Creepers) (1985)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Similar to the theme about the young woman with psychic powers in Stephen King's Carrie, this above-par occult horror film stars Jennifer Connelly as Jennifer Carvino, a fragile-looking waif whose unusual power to control insects comes in handy when she is psychologically brutalized in a nightmarish Swiss boarding school. Two vicious teachers and students who constantly taunt her out of jealousy (her father is a famous movie star), make Jennifer's life at school an inferno. When she calls on her insect friends for help, the school becomes victimized by swarms of nasty flies. But in the meantime, more serious evil is afoot in the mountains: some sort of monster is murdering young girls and the only one who seems even close to catching the killer is a wheelchair-bound scientist who specializes in insects (Donald Pleasance). He has the bright idea of unleashing a "sarcophagus fly" that will find decaying corpses and thereby lead Jennifer to the dead victims and it is assumed, the killer as well. Director Dario Argento's trademark dream/nightmare sequences add their own horrific content to the story, and the few plot holes here and there are offset by some mind-numbing images that are expected by any cognoscenti of this genre.
Rating:
R (violence)
Genre:
Horror , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Media Home Entertainment

Cast

Jennifer Connelly
as Jennifer Corvino
Daria Nicolidi
as Mrs. Bruckner
Donald Pleasence
as John McGregor
Daria Nicolodi
as Mrs. Bruckner
Patrick Bauchau
as Inspector Rudolf Geiger
Dalila Di Lazzaro
as Headmistress
Fiore Argento
as Tourist
Fausta Avelli
as Schoolgirl
Marta Biuso
as Schoolgirl
Sophie Bourchier
as Schoolgirl
Paola Grooper
as Schoolgirl
Ninke Hielkema
as Schoolgirl
Mitzy Orsini
as Schoolgirl
Geraldine Thomas
as Schoolgirl
Mario Donatone
as Morris Shapiro
Franco Trevisi
as Real Estate Agent
Fiorenza Tessari
as Gisela Sulzer
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Critic Reviews for Phenomena (Creepers)

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (2)

Between shots of stunning mountain scenery there are paranormal breezes, unfeasibly bright night-lighting and buckets and buckets of maggots.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The best acting is by an expressive, resourceful chimpanzee - definitely the year's Best Supporting Primate.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Though Argento's plot is often confused and grotesque, he has a remarkably energetic visual style (mobile camera, slow-motion, careful lighting, creative editing) that is never boring.

Full Review… | February 2, 2014
TV Guide

so over-egged is the story with police procedural, insect science and paranormal events that squaring the circle of all these clashing frames becomes a disorienting thrill with heady pleasures of its own.

March 7, 2011
Little White Lies

Worth catching if you're a hardcore Argento fan. Otherwise, pass.

Full Review… | June 19, 2008
ESplatter

... [Anchor Bay's] new edition of Phenomena is good, but not greatly improved over the old release.

Full Review… | May 28, 2008

Audience Reviews for Phenomena (Creepers)

The first 4/5ths of this movie were pretty slow, but once she becomes lady of the flies, gets chased by a mutant 4 year old and gets aided by a razor-wielding chimpanzee, well it's like coming home again.

Curtis Lilly
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

½

Lacks the power of his early works, but still packs punch, mostly by the deranged last minutes. Probably Argento's last hurrah.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

ridiculously over the top in every way possible, i guess u could say it's the culmination of argento's work as it seems to even verge on self-parody. a very young jennifer connelly stars as a boarding school student with a strange affinity for insects who is enlisted to help track down a serial killer. from there things only get wackier and after a certain point i just could not look away, dumbstruck by the audacity. too much iron maiden but the ending(s) are worth waiting for

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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