6.0/10
5,634
65 user 52 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.

Director:

Dario Argento

Writers:

Franco Ferrini (story), Gianni Romoli (story) (as Giovanni Romoli) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Some Nightmares Haunt You. Some... Can Kill You. 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 »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 March 1993 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Aura's Enigma See more »

Filming Locations:

Hopkins, Minnesota, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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

Alternate Versions

The Italian DVD has 4 new deleted scenes See more »

Connections

Featured in The Power of Perception (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Impossible to recommend, but I liked it
24 March 2005 | by kintopf432See all my reviews

I'm beginning to laugh at the distinctions people draw between "good" and "bad" Dario Argento films. They all seem to have some common technical elements: clever camera-work, grotesque but deliberately unrealistic violence, weird music, incomprehensible plots, "impressionistic" titles, and poor acting. None of them work perfectly, even for fans of this style. The variations between the movies, then, come from the genre accidentals – "Profondo Rosso" is a detective thriller, "Suspiria" an occult conspiracy tale, etc.; Argento seems to come along and apply his own unique vision of the giallo onto whatever horror style is fashionable at the time. It's his uniqueness, rather than his ability to produce great films, that has assured his place in the canon.

So, then, "Trauma" turns out to be exactly what we would expect from an early nineties Dario Argento film. Camera-work? Check – even in this late period, Argento's eye and technique are strange and impressive. Violence? Double check – although what the actual purpose of that Decapitron device is supposed to be, I can't imagine. Weird music? Check – orchestral rather than Goblin this time, but still louder and a little more engaged than we would expect. Odd plot, check, arbitrary title, check, bad acting, check – Asia Argento actually manages to make Aura a likable character, but you can't deny that she garbles her lines and seems mostly amateurish throughout. (And she's hardly alone in those respects.)

The slasher subgenre had died out a bit by this point, but no better reason for Argento to try to freshen it up a bit with his unique stamp. The story's quite watchable and fun, and occasionally funny too - more in the vein of "Phenomena" than the early stuff. It's frequently ridiculous, of course, but show me a movie of his that isn't. And while there's a sex element to the film, it has a surprisingly innocent quality, perhaps because Argento was directing his own daughter in the lead. (I'm sure Freud would have a field day with it, though.)

In the end, it's hard to strongly recommend it to anyone – diehards are as likely to hate it as love it, and casual viewers are going to find his style absurd. So I'll give it a 6.5, with the simple comment that I would watch it again.


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