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.
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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.
A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.
Standard story of the Phantom does have one major variation - The phantom is not a disfigured individual, but rather is an unwashed orphan abandoned in the sewers under the Paris Opera & raised by rats. The Phantom invokes death upon anyone who dares harm his beloved rats. In fact, The Phantom's nemesis is the chief exterminator who develops a rat-catching machine. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dario Argento's Phantom of the Opera is, unfortunately a misunderstood film. It's much different from your usual Argento work and almost every film based on the classic Gaston Leroux novel. Sure, there ARE some issues with the film, but it's much better than people think it is. For instance, I did have a problem with the fact that this Phantom wasn't disfigured at all, and the fact that the Phantom IS DISFIGURED in the novel is one of the things that made such an enduring tale. However, it's not without a purporse. When you realize Argento's true meanings, you see that it can actually work in the film. His 'Phantom' and his 'Christine' are entirely different characters. The Phantom is indeed deformed, but on the inside, and the film is able to show that. Also, I loved how Christine is somewhat the Phantom's 'partner in crime' in this version. She's not the same naive character as she is usually portrayed. Another point that most people can't understand is that the film is itself more of a parody of the crazy world of the theater than anything else. We have everything from the overweight tempered 'prima donna', to the peadophile directors, everything. The film is often not serious, and while some might say 'unnintentionally funny', it is not. It's intentional. That being said, the use of CGI in the film was really unnecessary and looked really bad, one of the issue I have with the film as I've said earlier. The acting is often wooden and most characters say stuff that nobody would EVER say in 19th century Paris, but I suspect it's the result of bad dubbing. Anyways, the photography is really to die for. Ronnie Taylor proves once again he is a master at what he does, and sometimes it actually reminds of Argento's all time masterpiece, and my personal favorite horror film - Suspiria. As a matter of fact, lots of aspects of the film remind me of Suspiria: the dance school, the ballerinas in peril, the fairy-tale ish feel, etc. The Phantom's first appearance in the beginning of the film is also haunting, with the voice of Christine echoing through the lonely, empty corridors of the cavernous theater, and the Phantom standing in the dark, up in the boxes, just listening to her, like a shadow. And when he appears, seating at the end of the hallway, staring at the ground, it's also quite creepy. Another highlight is the musical score by Ennio Morricone, which is also one of his most underrated works. It's so beautiful and never fails to bring me to tears, but that is to be expected from him. Overall, it is a very good film. Yes, it IS flawed, but it's much better than what people say it is. Remember, watch it with an open mind and don't take it too seriously, because it wasn't the director's intention (not in a bad way, that is).
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