06 October 2010

October 6th

Deep Red (1975) directed by Dario Argento
After a post-Four Flies non-giallo failure, Argento comes back to the genre with a force.  Actually, it seems like he went back to his first film, figured out what worked and then amped it up a little.  Deep Red is very similar to Crystal Plumage: both have foreigners witnessing a murder who feel compelled to solve the case, the foreigner becoming a target of the murderer, and the murderers turn out to be women.

Improved since Crystal Plumage is just about everything.  Argento's distinctive style -- the POVs, the weird tracking shots, the close-ups, the colors -- are even more intense now.  As is the violence.  The murders in Deep Red are brutal.  They make any of the American slasher films from the era look like My Little Pony.  And, of course, this is the first Argento movie with a score by Goblin.  Morricone is excellent, but Goblin's organ-infused rock just seems to work perfectly with these films.

My only issue with the movie is that it gets very draggy in parts. it felt like Marcus spent an hour and a half exploring the old house for clues.  And his odd girlfriend Gianna seems to disappear for about half the movie, as well.  Other than that, great stuff. (7/10)


  1. This is my favorite Argento film. It's the first of his I ever saw and I went in knowing next to nothing about it. I had never really seen much Italian horror either. So I was totally unprepared for the directorial style, which blew me away. And, on that first viewing, I found the movie truly frightening. Maybe I was so distracted looking at the camera movement but each scare caught me completely off-guard. The ventriloquist dummy scene is the jump scare at it's most effective.

    On second viewing, I'll concede that the movie is a little too long and the romantic subplot really holds the movie back. But I still like it a lot.

  2. I'll definitely be picking up a copy of Deep Red in the future. So far, I'm loving my Argento-thon.