deep red | profondo rosso | dario argento | bernardino zapponi | david hemmings | daria nicolodi | gabriele lavia | giallo | mystery | thriller | italy | macha meril | Macha Méril | eros pagni | giuliana calandra | piero mazzinghi | glauco mauri | clara calamai
Film: Deep Red (Profondo rosso)
Director: Dario Argento
Writer: Dario Argento and Bernardino Zapponi
Starring: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi and Gabriele Lavia
This was a film that I had heard a lot about, but never got around to seeing until it came to my local theater in a 4K restoration. I have to say that I am glad I finally saw this one, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. The synopsis for the film is after witnessing the murder of a famous psychic, a musician teams up with a feisty reporter to find the killer while evading attempts on their lives by the unseen assailant bent on keeping a dark secret buried.
Now at the time of seeing this film, my viewing of giallo films is still relevantly new. After seeing this film, I can see why it is considered one of writer/director Dario Argento’s best in the genre as well as one of his best overall. My favorite thing about the story itself was that it kept me guessing up until the final reveal of who the blacked glove killer was in the film. We get an image in the very beginning of who the killer is, which I really liked. When I can predict who the killer is halfway through it really bothers me, so I give a lot credit to this film.
The story of the film is fun as we see the clues get discovered and unravel the story. It all starts when Helga Ulmann (Macha Méril) is having a demonstration. She sees into the mind of the person that is the killer and then she becomes the first victim. It is during this murder that Marcus Daly (David Hemmings) is a witness and tries to help. Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi) is a reporter who shows up during the investigation. Marcus does most of the work to uncover who is committed this murder and why. As he does though, the killer tries to tie up loose ends which keep the two busy.
Something interesting about this film is the death scenes. First off, this one doesn’t have a bunch of people getting shot or stabbed. It does have some that are stabbed, but it also has creative in its deaths which is great. To go along with this, the deaths actually create clues for the two heroes to solve the case. I found that to be very interesting. Also going with the death scenes is that are very well done. They were done practically so it really looked real for the most part. I was a big fan of that as well.
There were some issues with the story for me. This kind of goes along with the editing of the film as well, in that there were some scenes I feel that could have been cut. There are some comical scenes that don’t really need to be in the film as they just don’t seem to fit and don’t progress the story. There are also some issues with the edits between some scenes as well. The film is also quite long, but aside from the scenes I had issues with, I didn’t bother me. The tension was built throughout along with the mystery of the film.
Another big positive for the film was the score. It was done by Goblin, which is a group that I’m a big fan of. I actually listen to the soundtrack when I’m writing so it was fun to see how the songs I listen to regularly fit into the scenes of the film. The songs really stand out and fit the scenes well. It helps to set the tone.
The final thing to touch on would be the acting for this film. I thought the two leads were great and play off each other well. Hemmings is the musician they mention in the synopsis. He is interesting in that he is quite sexist, which I can’t fault him too much for the time that this film was set. What I was more impressed by was Nicolodi’s character. She is empowered and doesn’t take anything from Hemmings. She is also forward with him. This is actually something that Argento is known for and makes me like him even more. The rest of the cast round out the film very well which is exactly what they needed to do.
Now with that said, I think has become my second favorite Argento film. The film has quite the complex story that unfolds nicely and kept me guessing until the end. To couple with this is the acting that was really good. The film is edited well to keep it moving along and building the tension. Now there were some scenes that could have been removed, but it doesn’t ruin the film. The deaths were different and interesting. The gore of the film was good and the effects were too. The blood does look more like paint and is a little too orange, but I have a soft spot for films that have this. The score is great and fit the film very well. If you are a giallo fan, I would recommend this film as this is one of the best in the genre I have seen so far. This is definitely a great film in my opinion.
My Rating: 9 out of 10