Giallo (Dario Argento, 2009)


So, after Paranormal Activity (2007) we decided to watch Dario Argento's latest offering Giallo.?? We certainly needed something to take the edge off such an intense film and it turned out that Giallo was a good choice.?? I regard Dario Argento's Profondo Rosso (1976) as one of my favourite films of all time.?? In many ways, viewing that film changed my life as it has led me to devoting much of my time to researching Euro-Cult cinema.?? Argento's recent films have been lacking.?? I have not bothered to watch Mother of Tears (2007) yet, it sits on my ever growing to-watch pile, as his last several offering have been poor in comparison to his earlier efforts.?? Sadly Giallo does not change the direction of this downward trend.??

Beautiful women are being kidnapped and murdered by a serial killer know as Yellow (Byron Deidra [an anagram, anyone?]).?? When Linda (Emmanuelle Seigner) finds her sister missing she meets Inspector Enzo Avolfi (Adrian Brody), an expert in entering the mindset of the serial killer.?? Can they find out who Yellow is in time before another woman is found murdered??? You'll have to sit through a painful 90 minutes to find out.

The film is best viewed as a black comedy; perhaps Argento was intending to send-up his entire back catalogue??? Adrian Brody attempts to channel Al Pacino's weak performances from 88 Minutes (2007) and Righteous Kill (2008), adorning the necessary leather jackets and throaty mumblings.?? He is a long way from his Oscar winning tun in Polanski's The Pianist (2002).?? Emmanuelle Seigner is shockingly bad as the female lead but, like Brody, perhaps this is mainly down to the poorly written script.?? Argento's authorial stamp is present, albeit sparingly.?? We still have the fetishistic attachment to knives, (deep) red drapes and a nod to Freud's Oedipal Complex but the style so apparent in his earlier offerings is once again absent.??

The ending had us scratching our heads and left me trying to come up with excuses as to why this was so bad.?? Was it due to producer control??? Did Brody really have an input on the final film??? Does Dario Argento care about making movies anymore??? After all, narrative was never meant to be his strong suit.?? I suddenly have the urge to rewatch The Card Player (2004) as it is masterpiece in comparison to Giallo.?? Perhaps the die hard Dario Argento aficionados will find something of value but this just left me disappointed.?? At least it lessened the impact of Paranormal Activity.??

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