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 dark secret, a twisted mind, an insane desire for revenge. 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?


This was Dario Argento's first American production. See more »


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

Alternate Versions

A special uncut version reportedly available on video features 7 minutes of footage omitted from foreign prints including:
  • a new introduction of the Aura and David characters: David (Chris Rydell) drives Grace (Laura Johnson) at the airport and sees Aura (Asia Argento) being beaten by a man whose plane ticket she tried to steal;
  • a new scene features Grace visiting David at the TV station and asking him about Aura; David invites Grace to his house and then calls Aura at home to ask her if she needs any food; Aura lies to him and tells she's already eaten;
  • Aura visits a market and is spotted by Dr. Jarvis (Frederic Forrest), who tries to catch her;
  • After David and Aura escape from the Marigold, she tells him she's taken a little souvenir from Nurse Volkmann's purse; another new shot shows the Marigold's owner talking to the police;
  • David checks into a hotel after following Linda Quirk's car and asks for a room overlooking the parking lot;
  • David asks for information about Dr. Lloyd in a saloon;
  • After David calls Grace and asks her for prescription forms, she meets and confronts him, trying to make him face the fact that he's become a junkie;
  • The death scenes of Linda Quick and of the killer are more graphically explicit (the wire is seen cutting through Linda's neck).
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References The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) 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.
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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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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