Friday, October 26, 2012

Phenomena (1984) review


This is one of Argento's works that's more different from his usual style. It still has his essence in it, but it really seems to flow with its release time in here. Either way, it's still a great film.

PLOT:Jennifer (Jennifer Connelly) has just moved far away to attend a special school for girls, but she's not like other young girls. Aside from her dad being famous, she has the unusual power to control insects and also sleepwalks intensely. All of the others girls make fun of her, but a famous insect scientist, Dr. John McGregor (Donald Pleaseance). If that's not enough, there's a killer on the loose in town, slashing away at tourists and young girls. Jennifer and Dr. McGregor both find clues to the murders and think insects could lead them to the bodies, so now they must give it a try. It's a good plot executed very well.

ACTING:The performances in here were pretty great. Jennifer Connelly was never the best actress, but she played a very great part in here as the sensitive bug-telepathic, Jennifer. Donald Pleaseance also played a great part as the bug scientist, Dr. McGregor; he recited his lines very well. The other shiners would be Daria Nicolodi as Mrs. Bruckner, Dalila De Lazzaro as the Headmistress, and Patrick Bauchau as Inspector Gieger.

SCORE:The score and soundtrack was very diverse and well done with the likes of Goblin, Claudio Simonetti, Iron Maiden, and Motorhead among others. The score was very creepy and unique, as usual, and the soundtrack consisted of gritty, heavy metal to set the violent mood. For this aspect, I believe the film matches its time period of release very well.

EFFECTS:The blood splatters widely in this film of Argento's. The blood is still bright red and realistic as it's always been. There's a good bit of violence in this horror film as well. There's also credit to be given to the effects used for the insects and how all the right shots were done on camera. It makes me wonder how they did it.

OTHER CONTENT:This Argento horror film really takes the cake for his works in the '80s. Everything from the music, to the actors, and even to the mood of the film just screams '80s. However, this doesn't fully distract from Argento's style. This film was pretty scary, very suspenseful, unique, and just something new for Argento. The only flaw I can really find in this film is that it contains a few cheesy moments that the '80s is barred to hold, including the ending. The ending was pretty great overall, but the twist with the chimpanzee was pretty cheesy to me. It doesn't distract from much, though, for Argento's signature style and editing is style purified in this film.

OVERALL,a great Argento horror with a good plot, great acting, creepy score, heavy soundtrack, Argento blood effects, worthy insect effects, scary moments, lots of suspense, uniqueness, great Argento editing, and just something new for him to work with, but it's kind of cheesy, ending and all.

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