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.
A young man tries to help a teenage European girl who 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.
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 <email@example.com>
The shots of the swarm of insects covering the exterior of the school, and later nearly blotting out the moon were achieved through visual effects. They dumped a bunch of coffee grounds in a tank of water, filmed it, then superimposed the new footage over existing background shots. See more »
(at around 1h 35 mins) When Jennifer finds the small boy, she removes a sheet from a mirror. In the next shot the sheet is draped back over the mirror again. See more »
[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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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 »
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.
Dario Argento's "Phenomena" of 1985 is an absolute masterpiece of horror coming along with an ingenious soundtrack by Goblin. Argento has enriched the Horror/Giallo genre by quite a bunch of brilliant films, including such stunning pictures as "The Bird With The Crystal Plumage" (1970), "Tenebre"(1982) and "Opera" (1987), "Penomena" is (in my opinion) his greatest achievement alongside his masterpieces "Suspiria" of 1977 and "Profondo Rosso" of 1975. A brilliant, extremely scary, stunning and visually breathtaking film, "Phenomena" is an absolute must-see for every Horror-fan.
Jennifer Corvino (Jennifer Conelly), the daughter of an American movie star, is sent to an elite girl's boarding school in the Swiss mountains, more precisely in a part of Switzerland referred to by locals as 'The Swiss Transylvania'. The area is currently terrorized by a serial killer of girls, whose victims are always heinously dismembered. Although a friendly and lovable person, Jennifer does not make too many friends in the boarding school, and due to her sleepwalking most of the other girls think of her as weird. But sleepwalking is not her only unusual characteristic. Jennifer loves insects, and insects also seem to have a strong affection for her. While Inspector Geiger (Patrick Buchau) is investigating the brutal murders, Jennifer befriends wheelchair-bound entomologist Prof Mc Gregor (Donald Pleasence), who helps the police with their investigations...
Then 15-year-old Jennifer Conelly's acting is simply outstanding, a perfect performance from the beginning to the end. The supporting cast is also very good, the great Donald Pleasence's performance as Prof Mc Gregor is just one of many very memorable performances in "Phenomena". As usual for Argento, the movie is impressively photographed on great, scary locations. Dario Argento has always placed great emphasis on impressive colors (especially red, of course), and hardly ever have I seen a movie as visually stunning and awe-inspiring as Phenomena. The brilliant Progressive Rock Soundtrack by Goblin manages to even intensify the suspense, and is one of the best scores I have ever heard in a horror film.
Partially a Giallo, and partially a horror film with psychic and transcendental elements, "Phenomena" is a creepy film that is scary as hell. It is also easily one of Argento's most brutal movies, and therefore maybe not the kind of film for people who are too sensitive when it comes to violence in movies. Phenomena was also released under the title "Creepers" in the US, but that was a cut (or should I say mutilated) version of only 82 minutes. I have always seen the uncut version, which runs about 111 minutes, and I definitely recommend anybody else to do so, since every minute of the movie is stunning and indispensable, and I can't even imagine which (certainly essential) 29 minutes they cut out in the other versions. A true masterpiece of horror cinema, "Phenomena" is, in my opinion, Dario Argento's greatest movie besides "Suspiria" and "Profondo Rosso". Superbly written and directed, outstandingly acted, impressively photographed and extremely creepy and scary from the beginning to the end "Phenomena" is absolutely phenomenal. A stroke of genius! 10/10
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