HIDDEN HORROR – Dario Argento’s Phenomena

phenomena_poster_03Now for horror fans when it comes to Argento movies it is either love or hate, i for one im in the love category but then again i have a weakness for Italian horror cinema, and out of Argento’s “Golden Years” Phenomena is one that is generally overlooked by fans who pine over Argento’s “Suspiria” and “Deep Red”, which is a shame because not only does Phenomena showcase some damn good Argento tropes but also features both a very young Jennifer Connelly and Donald fucking Pleasence!

From IMDB: A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.

Phenomena is a italian horror film filled with talent both in front of the camera and behind it. Jennifer Connolly though young (her Labyrinth days) does a bang up job as a misunderstood young woman with a gift and Donald Pleasence has a presence on screen as the humble Entomologist helping the detectives find the murdering. Also Dario Argento brings his A-Game here with great camera shots (as usual with Argento) fantastic music with switches back from a score by Claudio Simonetti and various rock bands, a moody and very windy atmosphere and some genuine shocks and uncomfortable moments with the kills and one scene involving a pit filled with maggots!

So if you have a compulsion to watch some Argento but want to give Suspiria and Deep Red a rest please give Phenomena a shot, its one of Argento’s unsung best – James J. Coker


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