Nonhosonno (2001)

Nonhosonno (2001, ITA) C-117m. ** D: Dario Argento. Starring Max von Sydow, Stefano Diosini, Chiara Caselli, Rossella Falk, Paolo Maria Scalondro, Roberto Zibetti, Gabriele Lavia. An aging, retired detective (von Sydow) is faced with murders awfully similar to those that happened 17 years ago, when a dwarf killer sliced up women, following the pattern of a nursery rhyme. The dwarf is said to be dead - has he returned from his grave? Von Sydow finds his fading memory a hard challenge. Horror thriller starts furiously, then bogs down, as Argento (cowriter) includes too many "realistic" scenes to make this atmospheric enough. Excellent soundtrack by Goblin, with terrific subliminal sound effects, ultra-gory special effects by Sergio Stivaletti. Not entirely successful but interesting, especially for Argentophiles, who will have fun spotting the director's trademarks. Argento actually copied von Sydow's role from the giallo LA RAGAZZA DAL PIGIAMA GIALLO (1977). Trivia: Asia Argento, the filmmaker's daughter composed the nursery rhyme; a picture of her as a child appears briefly next to a newspaper article about the original murders. English titles: I CAN'T SLEEP and SLEEPLESS.


© Ron Altman