A Sicilian widow earns her living as a clairvoyant, in Milan, but she hasn't got any power at all. Her son instead holds supernatural powers and with the help of his mother he becomes a ...
See full summary »
A love triangle develops between three people who run a high tech chicken farm. It involves Anna (who owns the farm), her husband Marco (who kills prostitutes in his spare time) and ... See full summary »
A French stripper is entrusted with her thieving father's last score, a million dollars worth of diamonds. After being threatened to handover the score, she leaves France to England in the company of a doctor, but danger follows.
Giorgio is a greedy adulterer who makes a deal with a serial killer to dispose of his wealthy wife, Nora. Unfortunately, a thrill-seeking young couple steal the killer's car with Nora's ... See full summary »
After his sickly wife dies suddenly of an asthma attack, an unscrupulous doctor discovers that she has a doppelgänger in the form of a burlesque dancer, who is one part of an intricate insurance scam being weaved around him.
Kaisu, an office employee, who was raped-by-mother's-boyfriend many times and "S" a boy, who is sexually abused by his young mother meet in a chat room on the internet. It starts with some ... See full summary »
A woman searches for her missing lover, a psychiatrist who has suddenly vanished for no apparent reason. She ends up at a villa populated by a group of eccentric individuals. A string of murders commence immediately.
A blind boy, who lives alone with his mean sister in a rundown hotel in Venice, receives a vision that warns him of the upcoming birth of the Antichrist. Soon, his sister mysteriously becomes pregnant.
A Sicilian widow earns her living as a clairvoyant, in Milan, but she hasn't got any power at all. Her son instead holds supernatural powers and with the help of his mother he becomes a strong sorcerer. But he fails perhaps to understand the real strength he possesses inside and unbinds uncontrolled forces that lead people that surround him to go mad.Written by
One of the more obscure of Italian horrors that are still accessible, and understandably if not deservedly so, Arcana is tricky stuff. Nominally a horror film though cleaving more towards the work of Bunuel and his like, more concerned with unravelling the structures that underpin modern living than freaking out the audience. The film announces itself at the outset, what is about to unfold is not a story but a game of cards, the opening and epilogue purposefully unbelievable the aim for the audience to play well and win out in the end. So from the start one knows to pay attention, to look out for bluff and stake, for hand and poker face, this symbolic endeavour becoming literal when Tarot cards begin to figure in the plot. Well its more of a concept, its components and tangents than a conventional story, a study in a mother and son who use psychic powers to provide solace to Romes rich and needy, the mother perhaps a fraud, the son true wielder of power chafing against life and surroundings. Others are drawn in to this arrangement, strange desires are revealed as well as some pretty strange and occasionally disturbing events, but its not so much a plotted film as themed (fate, truth and falsehood, industrial decay etc), the story breaking apart in the second half to hatch meaning from confusion. Its interesting stuff albeit rather slow, powerfully brought to life by Maurizio degli Espositi as Son and Lucia Bose as Mamma. The former brings a constant feel of clammy, detached malignity, the latter affecting in a run down and rough hewn, sneaky but practical manner. They play well off each other, with unsettling undercurrents reaching a head around the halfway mark with a chilling act of violence. Writer director Giulio Questi fortunately is a master of his imagery, so though the pace is slow and visuals restrained they are near perfectly chosen, around half the strange sights contributing to the themes of the film, the other half the uncanny weirdness sprung forth from these themes. Like the bones that Son find peeking from wasteground to the backdrop of bleak tower blocks, symbol of rot just beneath city skin, compared with a bizarre incident involving frogs, expression of revolution. A little more the way of events would have gone a long way in this one, as though appropriate, the final block is lacking a little in impact. There aren't enough real jolts and though things are generally creepy enough to earn the tag of horror it really is on the fringes. And whilst an overarching theme emerges there are interesting currents that go underexplored, bits and pieces that could have been better developed. Still a film that rather fascinated me and one that has played long in my mind in the ten or so days since I saw it. One for fans of the stranger end of Italian horror and surrealism outright, others may be less impressed.
10 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this