Something new this time around.I felt like counting down the top 5 films of my favorite horror filmmaker Dario Argento.Some of these films I’ve reviewed or done write-ups of before.Therefore I won’t go to heavily into detail, but will cite the reasons why I hold them in such high regard.
5.) Four Flies On Grey Velvet (1971) The final installment of his ‘Animal Trilogy”, Flies is the quintessential defining film for Argento.The Bird With The Crystal Plumage , Although a very excellent picture, It had more of a feel of a Mario Bava Giallo, such as The Girl Who Knew To Much.The Cat O’Nine Tails, The second installment, also very impressive, But still has a very noticeable Hitchcock feel to it.Although Argento is often referred to as “The garlic flavored Hitchcock”, It didn’t have his own unique style to the films he would later release.Flies however is different, It marked the first time Argento really took control of the camera angles with the help of a Steadicam, and even had very subtle commentary on typical gender roles between men and women.
4)Deep Red aka Profundo Rosso (1975) Although technically considered a Giallo picture.I consider this the turning point for Argento’s career. As well as the beginning of his “Golden Age.”In this film he had taken all of the elements of his developing style and continued to use them to the peak of perfection.Red’s camerawork is some of the best he had ever done up to this point.And a lot like Four Flies, He continued to make subtle comments on gender roles.Speaking of, I love the way David Hemmings and Daria Nicolodi play off of one another.His posh British piano player and her Daring reporter make a great team.And even contribute to the comic relief. This film also introduced us to a progressive rock group called Goblin.Hailed by many as the greatest Giallo of all time, It also remains one of the most influential thriller films ever made.Influencing directors such as John Carpenter and Bill Lustig.
3)Terror At The Opera (1987) A few months ago I did a write up on this one.So I won’t got into TO much detail.But I consider this his final masterpiece.Visually striking and a film that as I mentioned in my review is “art imitating life.”Argento mocks the American film audience for being squeamish.Makes a playful jab at himself for being a tyrant to his actors as well as not being allowed to produce an avant-garde Opera, As well as playing up the old superstition that the play “Macbeth” is a cursed production and will bring bad luck.It’s also somewhat of a throwback to some of his earlier Giallo films.IMpressive camerawork done with revolving cranes, and a black gloved mysterious killer wielding a blade.
2)Tenebrae (1982) This is another one I did a very length review on previously.THis stands out as my personal favorite Giallo film.Shot in Rome, Argento gave us a glimpse of the seedy underbelly of the ancient city.With Dim lighting and seedy characters.I personally hold this film in such a high regard due to a groundbreaking bold move.It was one of the first films to have nude scenes with a Transgendered actress (Eva Robbins), continuing the freudian-like dream sequences that had appeared in other films such as Four Flies.It also broke a traditional mold that was present in a lot of earlier Giallo films.It was a commonly used plot device that a person of average existence would be swept up in a murder investigation and aid the police in solving it.That happens this time, But with a sudden and unexpected plot twist towards the very end.The person aiding the police is in fact the killer.Argento even snuck in a jab at HP Lovecraft. When it’s revealed the person assisting the police is a writer from Rhode Island.Subtle?
!)Suspiria (1977) It somewhat sounds cliche for someone to mention this as their favorite Argento film.It is after all his best well known, and one recognizable to not only horror fans, but film people in general.But to be completely honest, This film is perfect.The mood,atmosphere,the score even the casting.Everything falls into place perfectly.Considering also this was his first supernatural horror movie.It’s amazing how well it stands up over the years against some of the other films released over the past 4 decades.Making a film very similar to Snow White in some regards, as well as applying in depth symbolism, with rich,colorful technicolor cinematography.I could not possibly imagine any other actress except Jessica Harprer to pull off the role of Suzy Bannon.A dark fairy tale that exists for all time.