Friday, 27 November 2009

PROFONDO ROSSO/Deep Red (1975)

SUSPIRIA not withstanding, DEEP RED is my favourite Dario Argento movie by a big margin. I'm not an Argento fanatic by any means but despite his sometimes alarming lack of narrative skill ( something he shares with other Italian horror directors such as Lucio Fulci and even the great Mario Bava) you can't deny the man is a true stylist. After the disappointment of the awful MOTHER OF TEARS I decided to go back and see if I still liked the earlier films and I'm happy to say I do. DEEP RED still stands out for me and becomes a richer experience each time I see it - which is not bad for a film I've seen five or six times. Argento has always been well served by his English speaking stars with Tony Musante, Karl Malden, James Franciscus and Tony Franciosa amongst others all turning in good performances for him and in DEEP RED the excellent David Hemmings brings with him the added bonus of slight deja vu from Antonioni's BLOW UP which has a similar now you see it now you don't theme - indeed it isn't too far a stretch of the imagination to see DEEP RED as the sort of horror film ntonioni might have made in an alternate world. Even after multiple viewings I still find the suspense scenes work very well indeed, as does the rather subtle humour and, thankfully, Argento is in total control of the story. Rating ****

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