One of the interesting parts of this project thus far, has been the process I go through to pick the film that I’m going to watch on any given day. There are dozens of movies that I own but haven’t seen and literal thousands of movies on aggregated lists that I have in my to-watch queue. It can honestly be paralyzing when attempting to choose a film to watch, so when inspiration to watch something specific hits, I don’t question how weird of a trek my brain had to go through to decide upon it. I put the film on.
Today’s mental gymnastics involved me listening to Radiohead while I worked. Thom Yorke’s signing made me remember the amazing score and song he created for the remake of Suspiria (2018, Dir. Luc Guadagnino). From there I remembered that Suspiria (1977) was the only Dario Argento film I had ever seen, so today I rectified that.
Deep Red (1975, Dir. Dario Argento)
And while I’m at it.
Inferno (1980, Dir. Dario Argento)
I grouped the two films together because I found much of what I had to say was shared between the two. While still a neophyte to Italian giallo films, I at least was no longer under the common misconception that the term was synonymous for horror. This understanding helped temper my expectations, especially with Deep Red which was much more clearly rooted in murder mystery than horror. Genre specifics aside, both films were filled to the brim with Argento’s trademark vibrant red blood.
Another reason I’m choosing to combine my thoughts for these two movies is because of the acting. Not only do they share quite a few actors including Daria Nicolodi, Argento’s wife at the time, but they share a distinctive style. That style, though, makes me unsure of what to say about the acting. Every line being ADRed is distracting for me, but it feels wrong to admonish the film for it give that it was the style. The ADR wasn’t an on-the-fly decision to cover for issues in the film, just how Italian films were made at the time. Because I’ve seen so few of these films, I don’t know feel in a position to judge the relative quality.
The last thing I want to mention about both of these films is the score. It’s actually rather ironic that it was Thome York who put me in the mood to watch these films, because while like the Suspiria remake, the score for Deep Red (and for the original Suspiria) are likewise notable, they are nothing like the eerie atmospheric York outing. Instead, progressive rock band Goblin create something loud and obtrusive in the absolute best way. Goblin’s scores all slap.