A stylish but bizarre and pretentious giallo, which seems to take more from Bertolucci's "Spider's Strategem" and "Conformist" in its spirit and aesthetic ambition than from films in the genre; indeed, its interesting element is the frequent oblique references to Italy's fascist past and its repercussions for modern European societies.
I was expected a far more consistent movie. The film is alluring, elegant and aesthetically achieved with its subtle 70s flavour....but the script is so minimal, it goes nowhere, the ending is a complete waste, bloody non sense. I even tend to prefere "Pensione Paura" from the same director.
Buona storia dal ritmo lento che appassiona e con un mistero che si dipana via via svelando una realtà inumana. Finale spettacolare e di forte impatto. La regia riesce a cambiare bene il tono delle scene, ma a volte si dilunga troppo. Atmosfera costruita bene e che inquieta. Fotografia molto buona, con inquadrature curate e ben strutturate. Colonna sonora di qualità. Personaggi ben caratterizzati e con bei retroscena
We are all mindfucker cannibals. (It takes a village.) Great acting from Mimsy Farmer, and on top of that she really did a really good imitation of Naomi Watts in Mulholland Drive. Or was it Laura Dern in Inland Empire. Anyhow, I'll betcha David Lynch saw this when it came out. Paula Rego, too. Some funny Freudian gags. Repays multiple viewings.
"It's odd though. Twenty-four rose and two lilies. Funny, isn't it?" Spiral staircases, mirrors, the play of light, costumes, blood. "What is it? Everything's dark now. The boat is leaving. Water. Nothing but water." Sylvia wonders what is real. "I want to stop this game. You can't stop now. It's not a game. Close your eyes." A bit of a story arc. "'Have you solved the riddle? said the Mad Hatter turning to Alice."
It certainly hits all the right notes: strange camera angles, nightmare lighting, a fragile heroine who's grip on reality is already tenuous at best, a creepy little girl, a simple yet fairly incomprehensible plot....unfortunately it all never quite gels. There are better examples of giallo out there...any of Argento's pre-Suspiria films, "The House with Laughing Windows", various works by Bava. Still, not terrible.
OK chiller that finds a woman haunted by repressed memories that end in eventual bloodshed. Story has elements of possible black magic or cult activity but plays with the viewer that it may just be fevered fantasies of our protagonist. Drags a bit but sports good production values.
If you easily lose sense of time and appreciate a complete lack of safety net beneath the protagonist, you might like this movie. Consider pairing it with "All the Colors of the Dark" or "Lisa and the Devil" for a sleepless night. Sure, the script isn't perfect -- for example, the director didn't want the boyfriend character -- but it's miles better than most giallo. Anyway, why watch a giallo for the script?
i really loved watching this; i wish it was better. there's such a great mind at work, at least in the direction. every frame is just so, all the movement so meticulous, and the production design is flawless, love the colors. it's just all kinda goofy, though-- the story never gels, maybe because it's so convoluted and you're excluded from the character's real experience. i don't know. keep meaning to watch it again.
The pieces collect (while the heroine disintegrates) very slowly. The pacing is somewhat balanced by beautiful cinematography and ongoing visual cues (e.g. mirrors). It's Rosemary's Baby going through the Looking Glass with attendant horror and twisted psychology, but the film struggles to unite all its disparate parts with the chilling ending.