55 user 98 critic

Giallo (2009)

1:16 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

In Italy, a woman fears her sister may have been kidnapped. Inspector Enzo Avolfi fears it's worse. They team up to rescue her from a sadistic killer known only as Yellow.


Dario Argento
1 win. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

Do You Like Hitchcock? (TV Movie 2005)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A college film student, obsessed with the works of Alfred Hitchcock, investigates a murder committed in the apartment building across from his and suspects that his seductive neighbor hired a girlfriend to commit the deed.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Elio Germano, Chiara Conti, Elisabetta Rocchetti
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A Rome policewoman teams up with a British Interpol agent to find a crafty serial killer whom plays a taunting game of cat-and-mouse with the police by abducting and killing young women and showing it over an Internet web cam.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Stefania Rocca, Liam Cunningham, Silvio Muccino
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

Gory remake of the Gaston Leroux classic story, only this time, the phantom is not disfigured, but a man who was raised by rats deep under the Paris Opera House.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Julian Sands, Asia Argento, Andrea Di Stefano
Sleepless (2001)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An elderly and retired police detective and a young amateur sleuth team up to find a serial killer whom has resumed a killing spree in Turin, Italy after a 17-year hiatus.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Max von Sydow, Stefano Dionisi, Chiara Caselli
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Part three of the "Three Mothers" trilogy which takes place in Rome and has to do with Mater Lachrymarum (The Third Mother).

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Asia Argento, Cristian Solimeno, Adam James
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young policewoman slowly goes insane while tracking down an elusive serial rapist/killer through Italy when she herself becomes a victim of the brutal man's obsession.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Asia Argento, Thomas Kretschmann, Marco Leonardi
Dracula 3D (2012)
Horror | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

Asia Argento stars in horror legend Dario Argento's sexy spin on the classic tale about the sharp-toothed count who craves human blood.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Thomas Kretschmann, Marta Gastini, Asia Argento
Trauma (1993)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

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
Stars: Christopher Rydell, Asia Argento, Piper Laurie
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A musician is stalked by an unknown killer who's blackmailing him for an accidential killing of another stalker. But is everything what it appears to be?

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Michael Brandon, Mimsy Farmer, Jean-Pierre Marielle
Two Evil Eyes (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two horror tales based on short stories by Edgar Allan Poe directed by two famous horror directors, George A. Romero and Dario Argento. A greedy wife kills her husband, but not completely. A sleazy reporter adopts a strange black cat.

Directors: Dario Argento, George A. Romero
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Harvey Keitel, Ramy Zada
Tenebre (1982)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An American writer in Rome is stalked by a serial killer bent on harassing him while killing all people associated with his work on his latest book.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Anthony Franciosa, Giuliano Gemma, Christian Borromeo
Certificate: GP Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: James Franciscus, Karl Malden, Catherine Spaak


Cast overview, first billed only:
Adrien Brody ... Inspector Enzo Avolfi / Giallo (as Byron Deidra)
Emmanuelle Seigner ... Linda
Elsa Pataky ... Celine
Robert Miano ... Inspector Mori
Valentina Izumi ... Keiko (as Valentina Izumì)
Sato Oi Sato Oi ... Midori
Luis Molteni Luis Molteni ... Sal
Taiyo Yamanouchi Taiyo Yamanouchi ... Toshi
Daniela Fazzolari Daniela Fazzolari ... Sophia
Nicolò Morselli Nicolò Morselli ... Young Enzo
Giuseppe Lo Console Giuseppe Lo Console ... Butcher
Anna Varello Anna Varello ... Butcher's Wife
Franco Vercelli Franco Vercelli ... Cabbie
Lorenzo Pedrotti ... Delivery Boy
Farhad Re Farhad Re ... Designer


In Torino, Celine, an American model, is abducted by a taxi driver while en route home to meet her sister Linda, visiting at her apartment. The next morning, Linda reports that Celine is missing - the sergeant in charge directs her to F.B.I. agent Inspector Enzo Avolfi. He's from the Special New York City Department investigating a serial-killer that kidnaps foreigners to destroy their beauty. When a Japanese woman is found at nearby a fountain, Enzo and Linda find that the girl is calling the abductor's skin is "Yellow" in color and Linda concludes that the guy might have jaundice. They go to the Policlinic di Torino to find the killer. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


To catch a killer, you must think like one See more »


Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence, language, some sexual content, nudity and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

MySpace | Official site [Japan]


USA | UK | Spain | Italy


English | Italian | Japanese

Release Date:

1 July 2011 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Agria katadioxi See more »


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is Dario Argento's first theatrical directorial feature which isn't based on an original script by himself. However, the script was written specifically for him. See more »


References Pale Rider (1985) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Kiss kiss no more
26 June 2009 | by whigglesSee all my reviews

If a single trait characterizes Dario Argento's 21st century output, it's its self-referentiality. Always a cine-literate filmmaker, his recent material has verged almost on self-parody. Amid all this, a generation of filmmakers have grown up with his films and been influenced by them, some more profoundly than others. Some, like Tim Burton, have assimilated his visual style into their own. Others have been more flippant in their appropriation of Argentoisms, with Quentin Tarantino lifting the music from The Bird with the Crystal Plumage for use in Death Proof, and Diablo Cody including a conversation debating the merits of Argento relative to H.G. Lewis in Juno. In effect, "Argento" has become something of a buzzword for a certain type of movie brat: a slightly edgy (but not too edgy) name they can mention to show that they're a little off the beaten track (but not too far off).

Oddly enough, Giallo represents something of a hybridization of the director's self-referentiality and the sort of fan idolatry that champions his films for their more superficial elements while ignoring the qualities that truly mark them out. Although the first credit at the end of the film reads "written and directed by Dario Argento", the original script in fact originated from two American fans, Jim Agnew and Sean Keller, with Argento essentially being brought on as a director for hire. This is not the first time this has happened: the two episodes he directed for the largely disappointing Masters of Horror series also originated from other writers, much to their detriment. (If Pelts had been directed by Eli Roth, I doubt it would have been appreciably different.) While Giallo's script is nothing remarkable, the overall execution is handled with considerably more flair than Jenifer or Pelts. This may be because Argento is on familiar stomping ground, with the Italian locations lending an air of natural class. Giallo is far from the bland, anonymous piece of work for hire that many feared it would be. While Frederic Fasano's cinematography lacks the verve of a Tovoli or even a Debie, and Marco Werba's Herrmannesque score alternates between effective and intrusive, there are little Argentoisms throughout, mainly in the lightly humorous moments. Likewise, an early sequence at an opera recalls Argento's 1987 masterpiece of the same name, while the oddly ambiguous final frame is reminiscent of The Cat O' Nine Tails.

That said, Giallo's most direct counterpart is The Card Player, and it's tempting to see them as two sides of the same coin. However, while The Card Player was clinical, high-tech and almost bloodless, Giallo goes in the opposite direction. Its set design hearkens back to the past, from Avolfi's dingy basement office to the foregrounding of Turin's picturesque monuments and buildings. The violence is also ramped up a notch, and it's tempting to view the film as Argento's reaction to the recent spate of so-called "torture porn" movies. The director has made conflicting statements as to his opinion of these films, but the lengthy scenes of Elsa Pataky being menaced and tortured in the killer's grimy underground lair are more reminiscent of Saw or Hostel than anything in Argento's past filmography.

And there's the rub: despite being marketed as a return to the genre that made a name for Argento in the 1970s, Giallo... well, isn't actually a giallo. The plot operates more as a cross between a cop thriller and a gore-soaked torture flick, the title referring solely to the killer's jaundiced skin. His face is seen almost from the start and his identity is ultimately not hugely important. Far more interesting is the way in which he and Avolfi are constructed as two sides of the same coin, both pariahs who operate in dark underground lairs and have suffered violent, traumatic pasts. As with much of his past work, Argento seems to be actively encouraging a Jungian reading. At times, this becomes a little too on the nose, with the casting of the killer... well, it's an intriguing choice but ultimately one that will either baffle people or have them slapping their foreheads at its obviousness.

With one notable exception, the cast acquit themselves reasonably well. The elephant in the room is Adrien Brody, who not only receives top billing but also an executive producer credit, performing uncredited script doctoring duties and making key decisions about the score (including nixing Argento's regular collaborator Claudio Simonetti). His role is an odd one, and it's far from the vanity project I expected. Avolfi is not particularly pleasant: he's distant, smarmy and reckless, and an act he committed in the past further blurs the line between him and the killer. Unfortunately, the specifics of this event, revealed around two-third of the way through the film, sent the audience at the screening I attended into fits of hysterics. More problematic in my mind, however, is Brody's performance. He seems to be imitating any number of 40s film noir detectives, but comes across as a mumbling buffoon whose reactions and line delivery always seem to be at odds with what's actually happening. He's not the first Oscar-winning actor to work with Argento, but he IS one of Argento's least convincing protagonists.

Giallo is a decent offering from a director whose work of late has been decidedly patchy. While I'm sure the usual battle lines will be drawn, with fans alternating between branding it a return to form and proclaiming it to be proof that he is a has-been, the truth is somewhere in the middle. No, it's not the next Profondo Rosso, but anyone who expected otherwise would simply be deluding themselves. It's substantially better than either of Argento's Masters of Horror outings, a step up from Mother of Tears, and a superior thriller to Do You Like Hitchcock? It's also more engaging than the overrated Sleepless and about on par with the underrated The Card Player, a film that for me improves with each subsequent viewing. Problems aside, Giallo is surprisingly good fun.

57 of 93 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 55 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed