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.
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 young man tries to help a teenage European girl whom escaped from a clinic hospital after witnessing the murder of her parents by a serial killer and they try to find the killer before the killer finds them.
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.
In Rome, after the abduction of a British tourist, the police inspector Anna Mari is contacted by the criminal, who self-entitles The Card Player, challenging the police department to dispute a video poker with him where the prize would be the life of the victim. The Chief of Police refuses to participate and the victim is tortured and killed in front of an Internet web cam. The British detective John Brennan is assigned to investigate the case and when another woman is kidnapped, they invite the addicted player Remo to play for the police. Anna and John lead the investigation trying to disclose who might be the serial-killer. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A different Argento, to be sure, but that's not bad Argento!
I have read the reviews complaining about that Dario has abandoned his style and all the gore to produce a tame TV-thriller. Far from the truth, according to me! I really think that this is the best he has done since "Opera". Granted, his stylish touch might seem to be muted compared to the baroque thriller of the 70s and 80s, but this cold and bleak atmosphere that he conjures up this time along with very brightly lit camera-work for most of the scenes, is something I enjoyed throughout! Sure, the gore is almost totally absent (apart from one scene), but as a whole this picture is much more efficiently done. The pace is fluent and unlike most of his other movies, there is actually no point where the characters just stand around and talk (and sometimes his players have been involved in some truly atrocious conversation) to fill out the time.
*MINOR SPOILER* And in "Il cartaio" the three main actors are actually very good! They are people you can care about and when they are in danger or die, you feel sorry for them. *END OF SPOILER* Like I mentioned before, I enjoyed the bleak look of the movie...as always classy camera-work in every frame of an Argento picture! And Claudio Simonetti's score is his best in years even though you might be just a little bit tired of it by the time the movie reaches it's conclusion. And talking about the finale, I found it both interesting, but at the same time also maybe a little bit of a letdown. However, the endings have been a bit weak lately in Dario's films. Not since "Tenebrae" has there been a really powerful conclusion. And two minor complaints finally...it was too easy to guess who the killer was. This has been mentioned before and I think it is true. The killer's identity could have been better camouflaged without a "certain scene" (you will know which one). And the card scenes went on too long on two occasions. The constant screaming from the victims became annoying in these scenes and I almost wanted them to die just to make them shut up! Otherwise, his best work in years and a film where he is not just content with repeating an old formula (like in "Sleepless" which I liked anyhow), but is actually trying to find a whole new path in his art.
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