Deep Red

A pianist (David Hemmings) witnesses a brutal murder in 1975 giallo Deep Red, which would technically make orange. 

Directed by Dario Argento with another progtastic score by Goblin, Deep Red is more coherent than the assault on the senses that is Suspiriafeeling like a mixture of Hitchcock (particularly The 39 Steps) and Dali (in Argento’s elegant, classical renderings of surrealist gore).

The thriller oozes style as it does blood, but the nicely developed characters keep it light with playful chemistry between Hemmings (the most sexist pianist since Ryan Adams) and Daria Nicolodi’s empowered reporter, whose car also provides plenty of laughs.

Then there’s the horror, featuring some of the downright nastiest (and most beautiful) kills ever put to screen, and a mechanised doll that’s the stuff of nightmares. Argento gives the film a hypnotic rhythm, his crawling POV shots intertwining with atmospheric sound design to evoke groggy, proggy delirium.

From its Christmassy opening to its influence on Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill, this is raincoat horror at its most mac-nificent.


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