Deborah e Michel sono sposati da otto anni senza avere figli perche Deborah è sterile. Questo fatto diventa per lei un'ossessione e la donna ha riversato tutto il suo affetto sul Igor, il cane. Poi una notte, al ritorno da un esperimento di parapsicologia durante il quale si erano verificati strani fenomeni, Deborah e Michel assistono ad un incidente stradale. E quando tornano a casa Igor inizia ad abbaiare con foga contro Deborah... Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
A Black Ribbon for Deborah tries to be an intriguing thriller, but unfortunately it's over reliance on atmosphere that isn't there and tension that is hard to care for means that the film just doesn't work very well. The film takes obvious influence from Rosemary's Baby and is often labelled as a part of the Giallo genre; although this is not the case. Director Marcello Andrei focuses solely on the lead character and her situation; there's no murder plot or anything else to tie this film to the Giallo genre other than the fact that it's an Italian thriller. The plot focuses on Deborah Lagrange; a medium with a strong psychic power. She is obsessed with the idea of having a child in spite of the fact that she is unable to conceive. After witnessing a car crash involving a pregnant woman, Deborah comes to believe that she has become pregnant and even begins showing signs that she is carrying a baby. However, her doctor assures her husband that it's just a phantom pregnancy...
The film is far too slow and the director doesn't offer much in the way of background entertainment which ensures that it is boring for the most part. The look of the film is very bland - certainly not what I've come to expect from Italian films - and that's a real shame. The bland cinematography is matched by an uninspiring music score as well as two unbelievable lead performances. Normally I wouldn't mind too much about bad acting in an Italian cult film, but this one is clearly aiming slightly higher and the lack of decent performances serves only in bringing it crashing back down. The pace of the film is akin to that of Rosemary's Baby; but the major difference between the two is that Polanski's film was endowed with interesting events that happened while the film ran slowly, whereas this one isn't. I wasn't expecting to be blown away by the ending; and indeed I wasn't. Rosemary's Baby can get away with an ambiguous conclusion, but A Black Ribbon for Deborah needed much, much more. Overall this is a turgid little thriller and one that will not be of interest to anyone other than the most patient of cult film fans.
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