Viewed – 26 September 2008 DVD
Let me begin by saying that although Dario Argento is one of my favourite directors, he is not one without faults. He is terrible at directing actors and often cares little for plot coherence or believable dialogue. Yet what he does right – he does so right as to nearly forgive any shortcomings. This made for TV entry in his commendable cannon of output is his tribute to Alfred Hitchcock and how many have compared him to the famed director over the years – yet without the bravura of Argento’s more celebrated work (Suspiria, Tenebrae, Opera etc) and with some pitifully amateurish actors gathered together – he also shows himself up as an inferior director, at least when trying to copy such a master.
A film student believes that after witnessing a murder across the street from him via his window (a clear nod to Rear Window) his overactive imagination suspects that the murder victim’s daughter and a mysterious blonde are working together, ala Strangers On A Train. Quite why he comes to such a conclusion is both unclear and unbelievable – but thankfully, or should that be luckily he turns out to be somewhere near the truth. As this is Argento the atmosphere, some grand orchestral music and one stand out murder set piece impressed me greatly, but the characters, especially our nerdy film student proved highly unlikable to the point of annoyance.
I wasn’t expecting much, as the feedback on this film is luke warm at best, but the story is engaging enough and as I said its plenty atmospheric – it just needed some of that balls-to-the-wall attitude and showmanship Argento is normally so good at, which was painfully lacking.
Verdict: 3 /5