Phenomena (1983)

Phenomena (1983, ITA) C-110m. *** D: Dario Argento. Starring Jennifer Connelly, Daria Nicolodi, Donald Pleasence, Dalia di Lazzaro, Patrick Bauchau, Fiore Argento, Michele Soavi. Horror thriller about a 14 year-old American girl who comes to live in a school for girls in Switzerland. A mad killer is roaming the country at night, and as sleepwalking Connelly witnesses one of the murders, she soon becomes the prime target. The same night she befriends etymologist Pleasance, a wheelchair-bound professor who studies insects, to which the girl proves to have a telepathic tie! All classic Argento motifs are present: the protagonist witnessing a murder by an elusive, gloved assassin (L'UCELLO DALLE PIUME DI CRISTALLO, PROFONDO ROSSO), a seemingly harmless and yet disquieting setting (SUSPIRIA), lavish, disturbing camera moves. Above-average plot makes this one of the best of Argento's films. Watch out for the climax! Cut down to 82m. for U.S. release (as CREEPERS).


© Ron Altman