73 user 59 critic

Trauma (1993)

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.


Dario Argento


Franco Ferrini (story), Gianni Romoli (story) (as Giovanni Romoli) | 4 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Rydell ... David Parsons
Asia Argento ... Aura Petrescu
Piper Laurie ... Adriana Petrescu
Frederic Forrest ... Dr. Judd
Laura Johnson ... Grace Harrington
Dominique Serrand Dominique Serrand ... Stefan Petrescu
James Russo ... Capt. Travis
Ira Belgrade Ira Belgrade ... Arnie
Brad Dourif ... Dr. Lloyd
Hope Alexander-Willis ... Linda Quirk
Sharon Barr ... Hilda Volkman
Isabell O'Connor Isabell O'Connor ... Georgia Jackson (as Isabell Monk)
Cory Garvin Cory Garvin ... Gabriel Pickering
Terry Perkins Terry Perkins ... Mrs. Pickering
Tony Saffold Tony Saffold ... Ben Aldrich


An anorexic young woman escapes from a psychiatric clinic and meets a young man who wants to help. She is caught and returned to her parents, who are soon beheaded by a garrotting stranger making the rounds about town, apparently striking only when it rains. The orphaned young woman and her new lover launch their own investigation and are endangered when a link is discovered with the victims and a particular operation performed years before. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A new dimension of fear See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and terror, and for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Piper Laurie revealed in 1997 that she never even bothered to see the finished film because she heard it was terrible, and that she and Frederic Forrest would constantly sit through the entire shooting laughing. See more »


Severed heads cannot talk. One needs lungs in order to talk. See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK video release has been cut by 7 seconds by the BBFC. There are 2 cuts, both to shots of wire cutting into the necks of Hope Alexander-Willis and Piper Laurie. It should also be added that the UK video release is the shorter version, missing around 8 minutes of narrative. The 2002 Tartan DVD restored all previous BBFC cuts. See more »


References Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) See more »


The Loss
Music by Andrea Bandel and Pino Donaggio
Arranged by Andrea Bandel
Score Conducted by Gianfranco Plenizio
Arranged and Orchestrated by Pino Donaggio and Natale Massara
Keyboards Programming and Performance by Paolo Steffan
All music published by Bixio C.E.M.S.A.
See more »

User Reviews

It's no "Deep Red," but so what? It's still better than most "fans" would have you believe...
27 May 2003 | by BillyBCSee all my reviews

(***1/2 out of *****)

This shot-in-Minnesota Argento mystery-thriller never gets the credit it deserves. So it's not as flashy and deliriously twisted as some of the Italian master's earlier work -- so what. It relies more on creating people you actually care about and, for this reason, I think it's one of his most character-driven films. Argento's real-life daughter (and European sex symbol) Asia Argento plays a young anorexic who witnesses the decapitation murder of her parents by a serial killer known as `The Head Hunter' who only kills when it's raining. With the help of a local TV news writer (Christopher Rydell), who is himself a recovering drug addict, she tries to solve the murders and reveal the killer's identity before he/she kills again. Although it's not quite as lavish as, say, Suspiria or Opera, there are some typically inventive touches that raise this above other early-‘90s slasher movies of its kind (for example, the killer uses a mechanical device with a razor-sharp wire to decapitate victims, and some heads continue to move and even speak for a few seconds after they've been cut off.) A great oddball cast (including eccentric character actor Brad Dourif, Frederic Forrest as the suspicious, unconventional doc, and Piper Laurie as Asia's batty, phony-medium mom) make it even more enjoyable -- but, honestly, this movie has one of the most unusual and seemingly out-of-place opening and closing credits sequences of any movie I've ever seen.

HIGHLIGHT: When the wire on the decapitation device snags on Dourif's necklace, the unruffled killer compensates by dragging him over to an elevator shaft and pushing his head under the descending elevator car.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 73 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »



Italy | USA



Release Date:

12 March 1993 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Aura's Enigma See more »

Filming Locations:

Hopkins, Minnesota, USA See more »


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed