Deep Red (1975)

The death of a psychic kicks off a series of brutal murders at the hands of a sadistic black-gloved killer, and it is up to an inquisitive musician who witnessed the crime to track down the clues that will expose the killer's secret identity! The exemplar for the Modern Giallo is set in Dario Argento's DEEP RED, the standard by which all other films of its kind are now judged. DEEP RED includes every recognizable genre convention, and stretches them to their furthest lengths. The deaths are more brutal, the music is more energetic, but the plot is actually comprehendible for once. Argento employs several of his most agonizing murders, most of which involve some sort of forced trauma that has the audience reeling in pain. The playful competition between David Hemmings and Daria Nicolodi is charming and entertaining, making them one of the most likeable pairs of detectives in the genre. Just like Marcus, the audience is completely unsure of what they have seen in the confusion of the murder, and the reveal in the end is so shocking yet simple and equally effective. What also sets it apart are the highly imaginative clues that are laid out in the plot, which the characters have just as much fun deciphering as the viewer. DEEP RED is unmistakably one of the director's smartest scripts and greatest overall achievements, and it is an important milestone for genre fans.

Rating: 10/10.
Gore: 7/10.

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  1. This is a great film to show to those who question whether or not Argento's films are artistic. Aside from the style throughout, Argento LITERALLY RECREATES A PAINTING ('Nighthawks').

    Is that proof enough?

  2. This is probably the best film Argento has made. Certainly, it's the most coherent, even if too has some annoying lapses.

  3. It is pretty hard to argue that this is not the Giallo in its purest form. Love it!

  4. An excellent film - perhaps most distinctive is the saturated gothic atmosphere that Argento manages to conjure up within an upwardly mobile modern world. I just want to respond to your first commenter Tim; I don't think I've ever read, seen, or heard anyone deny that Argento's films are artistic. This has never been a criticism of his work, the major defence has always been the artistic visual sensibility. Most attacks on Argento's films have centred on narrative deficiencies and misogony.

  5. This was one of the hardest films to encapsule, but to provide adequate coverage on DEEP RED, you would have to take to the college thesis.