A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.

Director:

Dario Argento

Writers:

Dario Argento (story), Franco Ferrini (story) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Connelly ... Jennifer Corvino
Daria Nicolodi ... Frau Brückner
Fiore Argento ... Vera Brandt
Federica Mastroianni Federica Mastroianni ... Sophie
Fiorenza Tessari ... Gisela Sulzer
Dalila Di Lazzaro ... Headmistress
Patrick Bauchau ... Inspector Rudolf Geiger
Donald Pleasence ... Professor John McGregor
Alberto Cracco ... UBS Bank Teller
Kaspar Capparoni ... Karl, Sophie's Boyfriend (as Gaspare Capparoni)
Mario Donatone ... Morris Shapiro
Antonio Maimone Antonio Maimone ... EEG Doctor
Davide Marotta Davide Marotta ... Brückner Son
Fulvio Mingozzi Fulvio Mingozzi ... Mr. Sulzer
Francesca Ottaviani Francesca Ottaviani ... Nurse
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Storyline

Jennifer Corvino, the daughter of a famous actor, has had trouble with sleepwalking for some time. Her doctor said that it can develop a split personality. She discovers her alternate personality when she stays at a boarding school that was once the home a Richard Wagner. But someone has been killing the students, and it relates only indirectly to the criminal sanitorium nearby. So it's up to "the two greatest detectives the world has ever known, or should I say, unknown" Written by Scott Hutchins <scottandrewh@home.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A nightmare ALIVE! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The painting hanging over Jennifer's bed is 'Village Landscape in Morning Light' by Caspar David Friedrich. See more »

Goofs

Lots of the scenes with the larvae, the amount of the larvae changes. One good example is the 'glove', there's first only three larvae on it which she also seems to shook off, then later on when inspecting it under the microscope it seems to be filled with larvae. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Frau Brückner: [attempts to kill Jennifer with a slide] He was diseased; but he was my son! And you have... Why didn't I kill you before? I killed that no-good inspector and your professor friend, to protect him! And now... I'm gonna KILL YOU TO AVENGE HIM! Why don't you call your INSECTS! GO ON! CALL! CALL!
[Inga then attacks Frau and slashes her to death]
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Crazy Credits

The English language credits claim that this film was "shot in Panavision." This film was shot with Panavision cameras and Panavision spherical lenses for the European spherical widescreen format of 1:1.66. See more »

Alternate Versions

A recent US DVD release from Anchor Bay, under the original title "Phenomena", restores all of the cuts above and is almost the same as the Italian full uncut version: however this version is missing two scenes:
  • The scene in the bus where the old woman asks Jennifer to close the window on the bus.
  • The scene in which Mrs. Bruckner tells Jennifer that she is not allowed to use her phone to call Mr. Shapiro.
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Connections

Referenced in The Church (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Jennifer's Friend
(uncredited)
By Goblin
Performed by Goblin
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User Reviews

 
Phenomena rocks the boat.
24 July 2003 | by scypheSee all my reviews

This movie seems to be either loved or hated. Those that love it seems to be Argento fans that have succumbed to the style and imagination. Those that hate it seems to get annoyed at script flaws, soundtrack, actors etc.

Most of the criticizers seems to have missed the point. Dario Argentos movies is supposed to be watched and experienced, not dissected looking for flaws etc. which is true for most movies. I have the ability to turn the criticizer off when I watch movies, especially when it comes to horror/fantasy/scifi. They're movies, not documentaries, and they're not supposed to reflect your reality. Think of them as dreams, and we all know that dreams are most often illogical, strange and wonderful. That's the frame of mind I have when I watch Argento movies. And Phenomena is great in that aspect since it builds upon imagination.

Phenomena was the first Argento movie I watched, and it turned me into a big fan of his work. Donald Pleasance is great as useful, and Jennifer Connelly made many of us aware of how much we all want to meet her (at least the male audience). I watch this movie in much the same way as I did Suspiria (masterpiece), as a fantasy horror, a sweet nightmare. The first scene, where the Danish girl misses the bus and looks for help is unforgettable. The fact that the rest of the cast is a bunch of young and inexperienced teenagers is something most of the viewers familiar with Italian horror are used to.

Would I recommend this? Absolutely, it's one of the better Argento movies. Who would like it? Anybody with an open mind and interested in prime italian fantasy/horror.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Italy | Switzerland

Language:

Italian | Swiss German | Danish

Release Date:

2 August 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Creepers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

DACFILM Rome See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international) | (Creepers cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby | 4-Track Stereo (Cranky Sound System) (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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