Strange, confusing, impressive and a little bit unsettling.
Two movie experts that I know invited me over to see this movie (along with others) using the phrase “we are going to watch strange movies in his basement. Want to come?” I accepted and the part about this movie being strange was right on the money.
The two guys gave me an interesting lesson in the movie genre “Giallo”. Giallo is Italian and means the color yellow and the genre is named so after the Italian book concept based on mystery stories printed on cheap yellow paper. What the movie genre has inherited is the mystery murder often involving black leather gloves, stylized violence and a thrilling plot.
This movie might have been on the edge of the giallo genre, as I understood it. If you are new to the genre and curious to see what it is about, you might want to start somewhere a bit more soft. Do not let this one pass though, it is still quite fascinating.
Typical to this genre is the mystery, but here the mystery were so strange that it crossed the border and became downright confusing several times. Despite being a team of one movie nerd (me) and the two movie experts, we had a very hard time keeping up.
What was so fantastic about this movie was he imagery. The colors, the composition of the shots, the sets, and even the stylized violence were incredibly well done. Despite being dazed and confused from trying to follow the storyline, I was quite amazed of all the delicate pictures.
As this was my first giallo movie, I have a bit difficulty judging the actors’ performance. For me several of the scenes were a bit too theatrical for my taste. I have no doubt that they demanded talent to deliver, but for me they might have fitted better in an actual theater.
A thing that surprised me and actually also the two guys I was watching the movie with, who knew a bit about the movie beforehand, was when the main character suddenly started talking Danish (my mother tongue) while the rest of the movie was in French (my third language). Neither of us knew that it contained bits in Danish and it just added to the confusion really. But it was fun.
As I wrote the violence is quite stylized and despite being scary they were not at all disgusting. I think they worked quite well and combining it with (quite a bit) female nudity did not make it worse. However there were one passage that kept looping which kept getting rougher and rougher in each run that actually became quite unsettling in the end. I have no doubt that this was fully intentional and the result was very successful. So be warned that you might have to look away at least once, if you have a faint heart.
I will try not to put in any spoilers here, but I was a bit unsatisfied with the ending, and to my understanding it were not completely typical for the Giallo genre. I am hoping that my next run-in with the genre might be (just) a bit more typical and contained.
All in all an interesting but strange movie in a niche genre. You will have to at least be curious about experimental movies and odd genres to enjoy this movie. I liked it, I would like to see more of the same genre some day, but it will never become a favorite of mine.