Heads You Win!
Dario Argento’s 1993 Giallo is a mixed bag, it’s a film on his CV that his fans readily accept shows the best and worst of the goremeister’s bent.
Asia Argento plays a troubled young woman with a eating disorder who runs away from a psychiatric hospital. Teaming up with a hero in waiting, she is drawn into the hunt for a serial killer known as “The Headhunter”, a hooded killer who has a penchant for decapitation.
Backed by American dollars for the first time, Dario Argento is in a mischievous mood here. Pumped by Pino Donaggio’s chipper musical compositions, Trauma struggles to get the audience to take it seriously as a horror film. Conversely, it’s still a bunch of fun, intentionally or otherwise, with the director blending gore and suspense with his playful peccadilloes.
The murder scenes are handled with the customary Argento skill, where we even get introduced to what can only be described as Garrote-O-Vision! His camera work quite often borders on the brilliant, but elsewhere the acting is poor across the board and the uneven tone destabilises the pic as a “horror” film of substance.
Roll the dice and take your chance here really. It’s fun not scary, bloody yet playful, classy yet amateurish, gotta love those red berries though. 6.5/10