This was the movie that introduced Dario Argento into the world of genre cinema, becoming a superstar in Italy and creating the giallo genre of horror/crime films. It deals with an American author, Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante) who is living in Italy with his girlfriend Julia (Suzy Kendall) while writing a book about birds. One night, he witnesses an attempted murder. When questioned, he finds out that the city has been plagued with a murderer of women, and Sam becomes entangled in the killer’s universe, obsessed with trying to figure out just who is this killer, and if he’s 100% sure if what he saw was right.
Dario Argento’s famous filmmaking style was not yet developed in this particular film. This was one of the last films in Argento’s filmography that I had seen, and I was shocked how simple it is. The editing and camera style are very simple and straightforward, almost as if Argento’s main intention was to imitate Hitchcock, it’s still pretty well made. The cinematography is good, but also not as exaggerated as say, Suspiria or Phenomena. Then there’s the gore: with the exception of a few splashes of blood, there is literally no gore. A far cry from Deep Red, I must say. One thing that I have to give a lot of love to is the score by Ennio Morricone. It’s not as famous as the scores that Goblin would go on to produce in his future films, but it’s still a very good score, very jazzy and experimental. Very recommended for fans or Argento, the giallo genre and horror in general.