A young man tries to help a teenage European girl whom escaped from a clinic hospital after witnessing the murder of her parents by a serial killer and they try to find the killer before the killer finds them.
A Rome policewoman teams up with a British Interpol agent to find a crafty serial killer whom plays a taunting game of cat-and-mouse with the police by abducting and killing young women and showing it over an Internet web cam.
A college film student, obsessed with the works of Alfred Hitchcock, investigates a murder committed in the apartment building across from his and suspects that his seductive neighbor hired a girlfriend to commit the deed.
Sam, an American writer in Rome, witnesses a murder attempt on the wife of the owner of an art gallery by a sinister man in a raincoat and black leather gloves - but Sam is powerless to do anything as he gets trapped between a double set of glass doors in going to her aid. The woman survives, and the police say that she is the first surviving victim of a notorious serial killer. But when they fail to make any progress with the case, Sam decides to investigate on his own, turning up several clues that point in the direction of just one possible suspect - assuming that he really knows who he's looking for... Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ominous music and lush cinematography override a sparse script to create a Jack-the-Ripper type thriller, which is deeply introspective, moody, and haunting.
Indeed, the script can be treacherous if used to try and solve this whodunit puzzle, which is best handled by removing psychological assumptions rather than by piecing together logical clues. Even so, the murder mystery plot is to some extent illogical.
The strength of the film though lies in its suspense, which is almost unbeatable. It rivals any of Hitchcock's works, to which it is repeatedly compared. The scene showing a knife chipping away at a wooden door is reminiscent of, and more frightening than, scenes showing bird beaks chipping away at a farmhouse door in Hitchcock's "The Birds".
I like the film too because it is so nostalgic. The reel-to-reel tape recorder and dozens of other props and visual cues, the references to philosophy and mysticism, the Morricone film score which at times sounds like the film scores from his spaghetti Westerns, all conspire to transport the viewer back to the Age of Aquarius.
The acting is fine. Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, and Enrico Salerno are perfect for the roles they play.
This is one scary movie. Minor flaws notwithstanding, "The Bird With The Crystal Plumage" is top-notch entertainment for fans of suspense thrillers.
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