Monday, October 25, 2010

New Release Review - Giallo



Yellow chooses his female victims based on their beauty ; the more beautiful they are, the more likely they are to be kidnapped by him. Yellow toys with them, abuses their mind and body, and then kills them. And he's clever too, only going after tourists, women who won't find an advocate in the police department. His latest victim is Celine, a gorgeous American fashion model whose sister, Linda, along with help from an FBI agent, embarks on a dangerous pursuit of this mysterious predator. Both sisters are in jeopardy, and the clock is ticking.

I should preface this review by stating something i'm pretty sure i've stated in the past ; i'm not the biggest Argento fanboy out there. In fact, I seem to not have as much of an appreciation for his work as most of the people I surround myself with do. Don't get me wrong, I dig a lot of his films, but often find that aside from beautiful and iconic imagery, the stories are oftentimes neverending nonsensical bores. That being said, I still realize how much better Argento's older films are than some of his more recent works, which I as well as many others have been highly underwhelmed by.

Along came Giallo on DVD last Tuesday, a film that star Adrien Brody apparently tried to prevent from being released onto DVD after the filmmakers didn't pay him what he was promised he would be paid - never a good sign for a movie. Along with a slew of shitty reviews, I was fully prepared for yet another modern day Argento stinker ....

Well, I guess i'm in the minority here, but I found Giallo to be one of the best things the Italian master of horror has done in years. Coming off at times like Se7en by way of Argento, the cleverly if not deceptively named film held my interest all the way through, despite the fact that it's largely a pretty by the numbers detective flick. Brody, as always, is highly captivating, playing a detective with a pretty neat little backstory, and he helps elevate the film to a much higher level than it would've been at had a lesser actor been in his shoes. No silly twists, turns or out there plot elements, this is just a straight up detective vs serial killer tale, perhaps Argento's most accessible film to date. I may catch some shit for saying this from some of the bigger Argento diehards out there, but this was much more my cup of tea than most of his past works. It may not be his most visual, stylish or original film and it may not even feel too much like the kind of film we've come to expect from Argento but for me, it was much more coherent and less of a bore than i've found many of his films to be. Despite what most others are saying, I say this is a step in the right direction for Dario, one that is worthy of your time.


Mr. Mike D. said...

First of all, I am an Argento fanboy... I'll preface my statement with that!!! In my opinion (as you will see on CCD later this week...shhhhh!!!) Suspiria is one of my 3 favorite horror movies of all time. That was what made me love Argento. Like almost anyone, his recent works have kinda sucked a bit. But I liked Mother of Tears (the last part of his 3 mothers trilogy that came 20 years+ after the first two) and I really liked Giallo. Brody is great, and that killer is creepy as shit. Good story, frantic (in a good way) pacing, and an excellent dynamic between the characters all make this movie another step in a positive direction for Argento. Glad you liked it... I told you you would!!!!

Mr. Mike D. said...

On a side note: Inferno, Tenebre, Suspiria, The Bird with The Crystal Plummage, and Four Flies on Grey Velvet are all pretty bad ass.I also like Phenomena (a young Jennifer Connely) and his mashup with Romero Two Evil Eyes. Not to mention he helped Romero with the original Dawn of the Dead and I like his contribution to Masters of Horror, "Pelts". But thats just me... I told you I was an Argento fanboy!!!! LOL... later kid.

Johnny said...

Glad somebody is with me on this one!

And it's not that I don't like Argento, i'm just not as into his films as most everyone else seems to be. That being said, Suspiria is also my favorite flick of his.

As for Masters of Horror, I didn't like Pelts at all. I'm more of a Jenifer kinda guy!