La sindrome di Stendhal (The Stendhal Syndrome)

Critics Consensus

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77%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 13

51%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,607
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Movie Info

The title affliction causes sufferers to react to paintings in extreme and bizarre ways. In the case of police detective Anna Manni, she swoons and feels herself entering hallucinatory versions of the artwork she sees. This Italian psychothriller contains dark elements of horror as Manni tries to capture a murderous serial rapist. The lady detective is first seen walking the art-filled hallways of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The great paintings have a terrible effect upon her and she ends up having one of her surreal visions after fainting in front of Brueghel's "The Flight of Icarus." She sees herself falling through the painting's deep ocean and is only saved by the hands of Alfredo, a stranger who saw her fall. She returns woozily to her hotel. Her memory has temporarily lapsed, and once in her room she finds herself similarly mesmerized by a painting on the wall, but eventually she remembers her assignment. Unfortunately, when she meets up with Alfredo again, he attacks and rapes her. He then forces her to watch while he rapes and murders another. She manages to escape and make it back to Rome where she begins seeing a psychiatrist. Her former lover Marco also makes sure she is guarded 24-hours a day. Unfortunately for Anna it is not enough, and Alfredo strikes again. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Cast

Luigi Diberti
as Inspector Manetti
Thomas Kretschmann
as Alfredo Grossi
Marco Leonardi
as Marco Longhi
John Quentin
as Anna's Father
Asia Argento
as Anna Manni
Paolo Bonacelli
as Psychiatrist
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Critic Reviews for La sindrome di Stendhal (The Stendhal Syndrome)

All Critics (13) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for La sindrome di Stendhal (The Stendhal Syndrome)

  • Nov 04, 2014
    Argento has always had interesting premises for his films but this is one of my least favourite of all Argento films (along with Giallo), largely due to the fact that it can barely be described as a giallo in itself. So the story was inspired by Stendhal syndrome where lightheadedness can be experienced by the sufferer when viewing great art works. Argento combined it with psychological thriller which explored the psychological consequences of rape victims. The film was thin on story and lacked of shocking gruesome deaths. It still maintained the stylish direction of Argento but I found his incorporation with CGI made the film rather flimsy. It is visually stunning at times, but the screenplay needed much improvement.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Mar 19, 2010
    I'm starting to wonder if I've already seen the best of Argento as this was bloody awful.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 19, 2010
    For Argento, this a 3/5, for any other director it could easily be a 4/5. I'll keep the better moments in mind and rate this 3.5 then. Some moments of hypnotizing cinematography that do START to communicate this sense of the "Stendhal Syndrome" but which never quite arrive there. An interesting plot which is about the same level of detail as any Argento - some have argued that this is less plotted, but those fools have obviously never noticed that the one thing Argento can never do well, perhaps because he has no interest in it, is plot, and that this film is pretty standard for barebones "just-get-me-to-the-next-overly-atmospheric-scene" Argento storytelling. This film does breakaway from standard Argento which lighting and sound to portray an overwhelming yet somehow still subtle sense of foreboding. In this film, we get that typical Argento style creepiness in the scenes involving paintings but he also experiments with a new style. Usually, we see through the killer's eyes, roughly following his perspective through many murders. Here the killer is out in open, speaking and interacting, while fully lit, to his victim and our protagonist. This is not a mysterious figure that the camera implies to be present; he is in full closeup and gets more than his share of screen time. One thing this character does for me is make me a bit glad Argento doesn't reveal his killers in this way in his other films simply because if they're anything like this guy, then it would be too realistically frightening and nearly no one could endure these films. For someone that avoids the realist approach to horror, the very realistic and frightening character unleashed on the screen here is an unexpected and refreshing take on horror from master Argento. Most Argento is about the central female character - usually played by Asia as here - and this film especially so. If this film is anything, it's a great vehicle for her to showcase her abilities and she plainly demonstrates that she's not just a director's daughter but a genuine talent. Most Fucked Up highlight: the second rape scene (in the manmade cave area beneath the waterfall)
    _kelly . Super Reviewer
  • Mar 25, 2009
    This is a wierd and stylish film by Argento, with good performances and gore however it's slow and not very engaging. The Stendhal Syndrome isn't for everyone, is a weak film and not the usual Argento, BUT it's an interesting horror and psychological thriller.
    John M Super Reviewer

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