Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Giallo (2009)

Giallo (2009)
Dir: Dario Argento
Starring: Adrien Brody

Legendary film maker Dario Argento returns to the genre in which made him famous in this nice little flick. In all honesty I was not expecting much when I heard about this film because some of Argento's more recent works have been somewhat lackluster but he really shines in this one, it's too bad that the people involved in this film reportedly did not get paid for it, sighting Adrien Brody slamming this flick due to these financial short comings because I think this one would have done quite well in theaters and would have finally put Argento's name in the eyes of mainstream Hollywood after years of making some great Italian films in his day. I would say that I rate this one right up there with some of my favorites of his like Opera , The bird with the Crystal Plumage and Deep Red ,  redeeming his name as king of the thriller genre . The budget is obviously decent in this one as it is filmed nicely and with Dario behind the camera and his eye for scenery just adds to the greatness that can be achieved. Now for those who do not know the term Giallo ( Yellow in Italian) refers to old crime novels published in Italy bound in yellow paperback covers which most were of the stalk and slash variety with a faceless Black Gloves killer  mixed with a crime noir feel to them, Years later the term was coined to films that became incredibly popular during the late 60's through the early 80's in Italy and to an extent the U.S. thanks to directors like Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci in particular. This film though is not the typical Giallo as in this one we actually see the killer relatively early on in the film as opposed to just the black gloves that made the genre what it once was well known for. So the film takes place in Italy and focuses on the disappearance of several high fashion models , And we learn this quickly as within the first few opening moments we see a couple of Japanese fashion models visiting Italy for a runway show when they split from a Opera to hit the town for partying on their last night in the country, while at a nightclub one decides to head to her hotel early and hails a Cab...Big mistake. The Cab driver is a madman with a pension for destroying things of beauty and thats just what he does to this young women in slow , agonizing and graphic fashion. The next day when the model does not show, her replacement arrives and this is where the story starts to take off. Without spoiling too much of the film, the replacement is also kidnapped after the fashion show but she is on the phone with her visiting sister when the abduction by the cab driver takes place although the phone does cut out during their chat, so when the sister does not arrive as she planned Police are notified and now enters Inspector Enzo Avalfi played by Adrien Brody ... Brody plays a old school movie style detective complete with low voice and a habit of chain smoking.Apparently he was transfered to Italy where he was born from New York in order to take on the case of the missing Models. The film bares a slight resemblance to Seven in it's pacing and character development which is not a bad thing and the story is built nicely having no real dull moments although there is not much gore to be seen , but when it is it is done effectively especially in one particular scene involving his first victim a Russian model visiting for another Runway show . I really feel that this film would have done extremely well with modern thriller audiences while still garnering the love of admirers of the giallo genre as well. The only thing that truly makes this film not a true giallo is the fact that we see the killer early on in the film and the only reason it is called Giallo is because the Killer in the film has Yellow skin due to an illness that I will leave for the viewer to find out about .This one is definitely worth a watch as the characters are all played well and you really start to get into the characters of the killer and the detective in particular.If Dario's Name is not completely tarnished due to the financial problems  that have been reported I hope this means that we will see more from him in the future with bigger budgets and more well known actors because he did a great job with what he had at his disposal this time around and allot of newer film makers could really learn allot by watching his films and this one is no exception. For fans of Thriller films such as Seven and the first Saw and also Fans of Dario Argento's this is a must see , Though I would recommend this one to anyone as I thoroughly enjoyed it beginning to end. This would be a nice addition to a marathon with films like Deep Red, The New York Ripper, Lizard in womens Skin or any other Giallo films of yester year and is really a good jump on point for those looking to get into the genre since some younger fans find the older films too slow.... This one is not as graphic as some of the older ones but it is shot well looks , crisp and shiny and may grab the attention of the younger viewer and open their eyes to what once was. Dario really came through with this one I just wish it would have gotten a bigger engagement in theaters because it is nice to see something somewhat new in the Horror genre these days and this could have been just what is horror fiends needed to get our fix and maybe open some new doors to something other than the typical remakes flooding the genre these days.
4 out of 5

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