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Riccardo Serventi Longhi
A retired detective with insomnia is called upon to solve a series of murders. His partner is a fresh faced rookie who has the aid of the latest technological equipment to help solve the crimes. Will they catch the killer? Written by
A retired detective gets involved on a case which he was in charge of 17 years ago, about a grisly killer known as 'the dwarf' that killed people in a small part of town and now it's happening again, though this time his working with a son of one of the original victims. 'The dwarf ' was found dead after those murders 17 years ago so could it be him from beyond the grave or a copycat?
This a pretty decent murder/mystery film by Dario Argento, I wasn't expecting much- but what I saw it was above average. With his usual flair of over the top blood and gore, stunning photography, the soundtrack by 'Goblin' really gives it an added boost and the usual unexpected twists and turns, make this film worth a look after his earlier disappointments.
It has a superb opening half-an hour of terror that is truly haunting and eerie. Though It does sag a bit in the middle of the film, losing a bit of the steam and the menacing atmosphere fizzles out- though that's when we start to learn more about the story, with clues coming thick and fast and then it picks up in the upbeat and unpredictable last half hour, where the final twist will have you on the edge of your seat with disbelief. What I liked was that the killer uses nursery rhymes from a specific book to pick their next victim, which I thought was pretty ingenious and disturbing, especially since the victims have something to associate them with the animals in the nursery rhymes.
Though the plot might have certain flaws, one being it's one -dimensional characters and secondly at times it was pretty convenient that the killer was at the right place at the right time- but otherwise it makes up for it with it's swift and creative deaths: that truly come out of left field you cant go wrong with that opening scene on the train and at the station, with the hysteria and tension of isolation that builds up throughout that scene.
Though the death scenes might turn off certain viewers- but not if your fan of Argento, as a lot of detail goes into them and so did the setting of the film- it was beautifully shot. The performances are below average; they were kind of lacklustre or either over the top, though with the exception of Max Von Sydow, who brings a lot of class as the retired detective.
An entertaining Giallo film!
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