Another very decent Giallo effort from Lamberto Bava!
Lamberto Bava's films may not have the cutting edge that many of his father's did, but the good thing about it is that you can always count on a decent thrill ride, and while You'll Die at Midnight doesn't set the genre on fire; it's a more than decent Giallo and I'm pretty certain that regular viewers will get a lot out of it. Being released in 1986, this one comes very late in the Giallo cycle although it recaptures that mysterious feel of the classic Giallo's well and the cinematography is good despite the fact that this obviously wasn't an A-class production. The plot is pure Giallo, and focuses on a murderer. We start by focusing on Nicola; a man who spots his wife buying lingerie and notices she has an affair. After arguing and almost killing her, he visits his colleague Anna, but shortly after he leaves the house; someone breaks in and murders his wife! Naturally, Nicola is the main suspect, but Anna, a psychologist, sees signs that the murder may have been committed by the so-called "Midnight Ripper". The only problem is that The Midnight Ripper has been dead for several years...
The film features lots of scenes reminiscent of classic Giallo's, and many of the murders are memorable. The kitchen scene is probably my favourite, but the murder scene inside a lingerie store has a more nasty edge. There isn't a great deal of variety with the weapons, but at least Lamberto ensures that the imagery is good and the film is always at least interesting. You'll Die at Midnight is pretty short, running at around 85 minutes and this is a good thing as it means that there is little filler and the film doesn't really have time to become boring. You'll Die at Midnight has more of a range of central victim characters than many other Giallo's too, and this makes the film more interesting as the killer appears to be after each one for different reasons. Naturally, it all builds into a final twist; which although somewhat silly (as the climaxes in these films often are), it's interesting enough and somehow (almost) makes sense in the context of the film. Overall, I can't say that this is a classic example of the genre; but like Lamberto's other Giallo attempts; it's certainly worth watching!
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