This Is A Review Of The Uncut Version.
Dario Argento's "Phenomena" of 1985 is an absolute masterpiece of
horror coming along with an ingenious soundtrack by Goblin. Argento has
enriched the Horror/Giallo genre by quite a bunch of brilliant films,
including such stunning pictures as "The Bird With The Crystal Plumage"
(1970), "Tenebre"(1982) and "Opera" (1987), "Penomena" is (in my
opinion) his greatest achievement alongside his masterpieces "Suspiria"
of 1977 and "Profondo Rosso" of 1975. A brilliant, extremely scary,
stunning and visually breathtaking film, "Phenomena" is an absolute
must-see for every Horror-fan.
Jennifer Corvino (Jennifer Conelly), the daughter of an American movie
star, is sent to an elite girl's boarding school in the Swiss
mountains, more precisely in a part of Switzerland referred to by
locals as 'The Swiss Transylvania'. The area is currently terrorized by
a serial killer of girls, whose victims are always heinously
dismembered. Although a friendly and lovable person, Jennifer does not
make too many friends in the boarding school, and due to her
sleepwalking most of the other girls think of her as weird. But
sleepwalking is not her only unusual characteristic. Jennifer loves
insects, and insects also seem to have a strong affection for her.
While Inspector Geiger (Patrick Buchau) is investigating the brutal
murders, Jennifer befriends wheelchair-bound entomologist Prof Mc
Gregor (Donald Pleasence), who helps the police with their
Then 15-year-old Jennifer Conelly's acting is simply outstanding, a
perfect performance from the beginning to the end. The supporting cast
is also very good, the great Donald Pleasence's performance as Prof Mc
Gregor is just one of many very memorable performances in "Phenomena".
As usual for Argento, the movie is impressively photographed on great,
scary locations. Dario Argento has always placed great emphasis on
impressive colors (especially red, of course), and hardly ever have I
seen a movie as visually stunning and awe-inspiring as Phenomena. The
brilliant Progressive Rock Soundtrack by Goblin manages to even
intensify the suspense, and is one of the best scores I have ever heard
in a horror film.
Partially a Giallo, and partially a horror film with psychic and
transcendental elements, "Phenomena" is a creepy film that is scary as
hell. It is also easily one of Argento's most brutal movies, and
therefore maybe not the kind of film for people who are too sensitive
when it comes to violence in movies. Phenomena was also released under
the title "Creepers" in the US, but that was a cut (or should I say
mutilated) version of only 82 minutes. I have always seen the uncut
version, which runs about 111 minutes, and I definitely recommend
anybody else to do so, since every minute of the movie is stunning and
indispensable, and I can't even imagine which (certainly essential) 29
minutes they cut out in the other versions. A true masterpiece of
horror cinema, "Phenomena" is, in my opinion, Dario Argento's greatest
movie besides "Suspiria" and "Profondo Rosso". Superbly written and
directed, outstandingly acted, impressively photographed and extremely
creepy and scary from the beginning to the end "Phenomena" is
absolutely phenomenal. A stroke of genius! 10/10