A psychic who can read minds picks up the thoughts of a murderer in the audience and soon becomes a victim. An English pianist gets involved in solving the murders, but finds many of his avenues of inquiry cut off by new murders, and he begins to wonder how the murderer can track his movements so closely.Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
David Hemmings and Daria Nicolodi rehearsed the arm wrestling scene over seventy times, driving Dario Argento, who doesn't like to repeat things too many times, crazy in the process. See more »
The notes being played during Marc and Carlo's duet in the bar sound nothing like what they appear to be playing (the high notes sound much faster than what the actors are miming). See more »
What was that?
might somebody be getting raped.
[Even longer pause, raises wineglass]
Hail to the raped virgin.
See more »
The Brazilian version omits an entire sequence of a tracking shot along the killer's table, with the drawings and the dolls, cutting directly from Helga in the theater to Helga on the phone. Also, the dialogue between Mark and Carlo in the piazza has a few lines cut out. See more »
One of Argento's very best. He always struck me as a perfectionist from the way he framed his shots. One could almost call him the Kubrick of slasher flicks. He makes the environments just as much characters as the humans in the film; he captures everything, especially the deaths, like a portrait. His artistry in the genre is only matched by a few others. And this winds up becoming a great, gripping murder mystery that keeps you guessing to the very end. Argento toys with conventions, specifically in a scene where Marcus gets knocked out while looking around a building towards the end of the film, and the next shot shows him waking up outside of the house while it's burning, and the camera slowly pans up to reveal his female reporter friend standing over him. In another, more predictable film, she would've been revealed to have knocked him out and possibly the killer of the picture, but instead she is merely revealed to have rescued him from the house and remains a protagonist to her untimely end. Of course, there's a terrific soundtrack from Goblin that perfectly suits every scene it's used in, but at the same time, Argento makes great use of silence when he wants to.
At over two hours long, your horror film better have either some interesting or developed characters. In Deep Red, Argento has both. David Hemmings gives an engaging performance as the protagonist. His reactions to what goes on around him are natural, and the viewer is sympathetic to his cause to get down to the truth. He understands that some secrets should be uncovered at any cost. As death slowly sucks up people in his world, he finds himself increasingly sucked into this impending nightmare behind him, like quicksand. We're in his shoes because he reacts like us. Argento employs charming humor throughout the picture. Like Hitchcock, he understands the essence of entertaining his audience. Horror films don't have to be all-dread all the time. The relationship between Hemmings' protagonist and his female reporter friend are dealt with sensitively. She is portrayed as his equal. He relies on her to get places. She saves his life. She gets him to come out of his shell and admit his attraction to her. She's spunky and has plenty of personality to make us believe she could be a reporter in reality. When the big revelation reveals itself at the end of the film, suddenly the entire mystery comes full-circle to the opening shot, and we're left with one hell of a bang. The final shot represents the sort of feeling one gets when they come face-to-face with a point in their lives that shakes them to their very core. What's next, and where do I go from here? How do I cope with what I just experienced? Argento offers no easy answers, he just sits back like a madman amused by what he just put his viewers through. At least, that's the sense I get from watching his expertly crafted work.
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