Thursday, 30 April 2015

Deep Red (1975)

For my money, this film takes about twenty minutes too long to get out of first gear.  It's also not a movie that will hold your hand and spell out character motivations - you have to pay attention.  So the first hour is fairly challenging to get through.  Which is something of a shame, because once it does cut loose and start accelerating towards its climax, it really cuts loose, ultimately delivering an ending sequence of splatterpunk excess punctuated by one of the most audacious cinematic reveals I've ever seen.

So the short version of this review is that if you think you have the patience to keep paying attention through the opening act (which is a bit on the slow side) and the strong stomach needed for the violent scenes (which have Argento's trademark stylishly inventive gruesomeness), then you should check it out.  If you like your entertainment to get moving more quickly, or aren't comfortable with gore, then skip it.  Of course, that latter disclaimer applies for pretty much any Argento film.

And that - apart from a quick aside to mention that the film's got a really awesome soundtrack, so audiophiles might want to check that out - is pretty much all I need to say about whether or not you should see this film.  So the rest of this review is going to be a quick precis of the plot.

A jazz musician witnesses a gruesome murder.  He rushes to the victim's aid, but is too late to help.  Tormented by a feeling that there was something 'different' about the victim's apartment when he first rushed in to after the police have arrived, he begins his own investigation into the killing.  The path to the truth will of course be liberally strewn with red herrings, a few more violent deaths, and - as mentioned above - a truly memorable ending.

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