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.
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.
A young opera singer (Betty) gets her big chance when the previous star of a production of Verdi's Macbeth is run over by a car. Convinced the opera is bad luck she accepts, and becomes the target (in Argento's unmistakable style) of a psychopath - a man she has been dreaming of since childhood.Written by
David Carroll <email@example.com>
Beware the Scottish Play! In his riveting and harrowing Opera, Dario Argento returns to classic form, regaining the composure he lost while filming convoluted and delirious psycho- shockers like Tenebre and Phenomena. Indeed, predicated on a simple narrative that is offset by opulent set pieces, imaginatively brutal murder sequences, and refined photography, the film feels like the Argento we once knew. Opera's only real infraction is its lack of a score by Goblin, who provided unusual, iconic, and timeless music for many of Argento's greatest films (the opera selections used here are wonderful, however).
The production is filled out by several competent actors. While she's no Jessica Harper, Annabella Sciorra lookalike Cristina Marsillach manages enough pluck and compassion to grasp the role of the tortured heroine. Ian Charleson is interesting as horror-film-helmer- turned-opera-director Marco. And Daria Nicolodi is fantastic as always, even in her relatively brief role (watch the making of featurette on the DVD for a hilarious interview with Nicolodi about her role -- clearly brash and resentful over the end of her relationship with Argento!) Fans of Stage Fright (another excellent 1987 giallo, directed by Michele Soavi, who served as the second unit director for Opera) will barely recognize the final girl from that film, Barbara Cupisti, as a stage manager here (I think it's the glasses that do it).
With me, it's often the little things that matter, and Argento's fascination/obsession with solitary nightmarish images makes him my ideal filmmaker. Opera is full of minor details that left me smirking. For instance, I love that we never see "The Great" Mara Czekova's face. I also love the scene where the killer is scraping the tip of his/her deadly sharp dagger across a television screen showing Betty's performance as Lady Macbeth. Finally, I defy even the most grizzled slasher veterans not to cringe as the "pin grates" are placed over Betty's eyes.
In short, Opera is a clean, tense, and taut thriller. With its solid performances, lucid focus, and literate cinematography, it begs to be in the same league as Deep Red and The Bird With the Crystal Plumage. Might Opera be the last great giallo?
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