1/6/10

Opera

(mini-review)

I confess! I don't like the films of Dario Argento. In fact, the only one that came close to seizing my interest was Suspiria. Everything else...I don't get it. I do enjoy a good giallo now and then, but Opera is one of the less stupefying "spaghetti slashers" out there. When it comes to this cult genre, I'm more inclined to sit down with a Bava bleeder or even an early Fulci flick. This particular film hit all the wrong buttons. The plot is generic, the cast is rigid, and the pacing is slumberous. The one thing I can say in Argento's favor is that the man knows his way around a camera.

Opera looks fantastic. All of the visuals are arresting, and I loved the cinematic camera angles. By "cinematic," I mean "freaking cool." There are several low-level shots that assist in heightening the tension and enhancing the perilous mood. The opening scene is a great example of Argento's clever direction. If only the substance could live up to the style. The snore-inducing storyline follows a meek ingenue who is stalked by a crazed fan in an opera house. Sound familiar? Why not just call it The Phantom of the Opera? Oh, that's right; Argento would concoct his own unsound version of The Phantom a decade later. Talk about derivative.

The kills are nasty, but they are nothing I haven't seen before (except for the "don't blink" bits). Overall, I was just bored by Opera and its caustic, unpleasant characters. Granted, I have yet to see Inferno or Deep Red, but would they really change my opinion of one Dario Argento? I already know that he's talented. I simply don't care for his movies. His offspring, on the other hand...

5 comments:

  1. My guess is you've mostly seen Argento's post-'Opera' films, which only his staunchest fans can bring themselves to defend. I like parts of 'Opera', but along with its predecessor 'Phenomenae' aka 'Creepers', you can see Argento beginning the decline that has defined his career ever since.

    If you want to understand why Argento is held in such high regard by many horror fans, myself included, it's because of 'Deep Red', 'Suspiria' (which you already watched), 'Inferno', and 'Tenebrae'. Those are arguably his masterpieces. His early "animal trilogy" is ok if you're used to the usual lapses in logic that are par for the course in giallos, but for my money they aren't any better or worse than the average Italian thriller from the seventies.

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  2. For me Opera was the last good Argento film, he never really got it back after Opera.

    Its one of my favorite Argento films, simply cause of the look of the film, the direction, and the kills.

    Suspiria is the only other one I truly love.

    BTW, for me, the most boring of the Argento films has been Phenomena. It has its moments, but its snore inducing!

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  3. Dom - what's up? Guess what? Nominated you for another award. Yeah it has flowers again, sorry. But hey - it's a sign of respect. lol

    Check it when you get a chance...

    http://enterthemancave.blogspot.com/2010/01/more-awards-im-one-lovely-blogger-and.html

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  4. *adds Deep Red to Netflix queue*

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  5. Deep Red is good, but I consider Tenebrae to be his crowning gialli effort. I completely agree that the visuals are what makes Opera, which is why I love it so much and bastardized it for my site. The only indulgent scene I didnt like was the most ambitious with the crows eye view in the theater

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