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When two sisters inherit their family castle, a string of murders committed by a mysterious dark haired woman in a red cloak decimates their circle of friends. Is the killer their ancestor, the "Red Queen" whom legend says claims seven lives every hundred years? Written by
Murder, mystery, family secrets, revenge...all you could ask for from a great giallo
The greatest Horror/Thriller directors know how to keep their viewers guessing and on the edge of their seats. There are certain ingredients necessary to make a successful film in either genre and no one does it like the Italians. In the US we have Alfred Hitchcock and John Carpenter, both of which have scared audiences around the world over and over. But then there are those copycats who don't get what makes a great Horror film or Thriller work. Filmmakers like Dario Argento, Mario Bava, and Lucio Fulci had/have styles all their own and were only influenced by some of the greats rather than stole from them. They too influenced other directors to cook up their own tales of terror, like Emilio Miraglia's 'The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave.' Not simply 100 minutes of cheap thrills, the film is without question one of the best of the genre and those who loved it would get another taste with his follow up 'The Red Queen Kills 7 Times.' This sadly was to be the last of his giallos, but if it had to be it wasn't at all a bad send off.
Pros: Above average performances. Suspenseful story. Gorgeous cinematography, which really brings out the vibrant colors. Beautifully scored. Handsome production design, which ranges from a Gothic castle to modern style apartments. Well paced, slow but steady. Lots of twists and turns. Some memorable and quite violent murders. An eerie feeling hangs over the film.
Cons: Somethings, like the hairstyles and clothes, date the film. The big revelation is a bit convoluted.
Final thoughts: They say that lightening doesn't strike twice, but in this case it actually did. Miraglia made a different, but almost equally satisfying second giallo that like 'Night' has held up really well. Whereas that film is more of a Gothic exercise in Horror, 'Red Queen' is like a lurid nightmare. The good news is that it's finally available in a high quality print along with 'Night' from No Shame. Well worth picking up if Italian Horror is your scene.
My rating: 4.5/5
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