Deep Red

Deep Red (1975)

This is Argento’s most overrated work.

To get a few points out of the way, I understand that the film flip-flops back and forth between Italian and English because some of the footage was restored after the fact.  Would it have killed them to dub that as well?  Or just subtitle the whole thing?  It makes it REALLY distracting.

The performances are laughable.  Mediocre performances in other Argento works are passable because of his unique brand of storytelling, but Deep Red is a straight-laced whodunit, so you really need to buy into the characters.  I didn’t.  I never understood Marcus’ obsession with tracking down the killer and Gianna may be the most annoying character I’ve ever come across in a film.  I spent the better part of the film desperately hoping she’d be killed.

The actual death scenes, which of course are Argento’s calling card, are largely well done (Giordani’s was kind of overwrought).  The technical aspects, the pacing and direction are all good as well – this is just a weak story with horribly forgettable characters.  Two huge thumbs up for the score, though.  Goblin is still the best movie soundtrack group this side of Tangerine Dream.

I know I’m in the minority, but I was disappointed.  For a film that was supposedly Argento’s opus, I think he’s done many that are a lot better.  If you’re a fan of Argento’s work, it’s worth checking out because most people agree that I’m completely wrong.  If you’re new to his work, I’d recommend Suspiria or Tenebrae instead.

Stars: 2/5

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