When it comes to Italian Horror there are many names that come to mind, but none other than Dario Argento strikes fear into my heart. Ok, so I am no longer scared, but when I was a kid a lot of the movies that he made were translated into Spanish and shown on Latino television. I saw a lot of the movies uncut, and they were wicked in many ways. Today, since I had to work a lot more than usual, and didn’t have time to settle in with some popcorn, I wanted to post my favorite 5 movies from Argento. These are in no particular order, and if you agree or disagree let me know. Drop me a line, or buy the movie and review it.
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) Buy it here – This one really fascinated me when I was a kid. The whole mystery of who’s calling and why is a weird bird noise the only thing that is audible? Not only that, I’ve always been fascinated by writers, so when the protagonist is a writer with writer’s block, I bought into the story. The cool part about this film is the consistent use of first person views for set up to the kills. You see black gloves; a weapon and then you get the blood. I’ve always liked the over the top blood used by Argento and it runs plenty here. The film was and is an instant classic, with lovely ladies, and cool backdrops, leading to a climax that can only be a work of this Italian director, if you ask anyone.
Opera (1987) buy it here – This was a very stylish and sinister film. A young woman is cast in a new Opera role and all is going well, until a killer is let loose and a stalker is chasing her. Set to an interesting backdrop of singing and stage production, this movie really grabs a hold of your jugular and doesn’t let go. Before “Saw” made it big, this was an ultimate torturous volume in which our protagonist is forced to watch a lot of sinister things going on, or else dies. The contraption of putting razor spikes on the eyelids so that you have to keep them open is spot on sinister and something that you’d expect from Jigsaw. Only this movie came long before that iconic series. In a classic reveal we see the true nature of the killer in the end, but not until we get some awesome kills, thrills and blood spills.
Inferno (1980) Buy it here - A strange book sets up the viewer for an interesting romp through mystery and terror. The movie is the ultimate jump scare and sinister movie with hauntings going throughout. I love the cover, and have always loved the skull. The story moves through some awesome points, with some stiff and sick kills, even though it’s a bit of a long setup at first. You will get classic Argento screams, over saturated blood colors, and lovely Italian actresses that I’d love to say hello to, but wouldn’t know how to bed. This movie is a mixture of Argento’s trademark pictures, with a lot of cool music to balance out the hauntings and killings.
Suspiria (1977) Buy It Here – Who knew that the ballet could be so frightening? In one of my all time favorite horror movies, Argento moves the camera to an all-new beautiful level. The art, framing, and photography here are immense as well as the scares that you receive through the film. This Avant-garde type of European horror is insane by comparison to anything you’d see today. It has a great deal sinister motives from start to finish. You’ll fall in love with this one as I did, as it is mind numbing in many ways.
Tenebrae (1982) Buy it here – My all time favorite film by Argento is an interesting tale about a writer who seems to have a problem. The problem is that the author’s books are coming to life and there is a serial killer that is killing women and stuffing pages of his books into their throats! When I first saw this movie, I wasn’t at all impressed, but then I recently saw it again, and realized how awesome this one is. You get all the suspense of a modern movie, with the Argento framing and interesting concept, all the way until the final reveal that will blow you away. I absolutely loved the ending; especially the way things just don’t seem to add up. Check it out; it’s by far the best from Argento!
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