Action / Horror / Mystery / Thriller


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Brad Dourif as Dr. Lloyd
Asia Argento as Aura Petrescu
Piper Laurie as Adriana Petrescu
James Russo as Capt. Travis
720p 1080p
815.03 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 46 min
P/S 1 / 9
1.65 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 46 min
P/S 1 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by AngryChair 9 / 10

Underrated Argento chiller!

Italian horror master Dario Argento's only venture into American film-making was this tight, unique thriller.

Young man tries to help a troubled anorexic girl catch the 'head-hunter' killer that murdered her parents.

Trauma is a film that has been given the shaft by many critics, including some of Argento's own fans. Trauma is a step outside of Argento's typical colorful style as it goes for a more subtle look. Still Argento does flair with some creativeness in this film. The camera work and atmosphere are splendid, helping to make the mysterious story all the more intriguing. Pino Donaggio also lends some good music to the film as well. The theme song 'Ruby Rain' sang by Laura Evans is a nicely haunting little piece by itself. Also different from the other works of Argento, this film is rather light on gore, but still manages to have some shocking murder sequences thanks to some wild set-ups.

The cast is quite good. Chris Rydell shines as our likable young hero. Asia Argento, Dario's daughter, does a decent role as the young victim wrapped up in the mystery. Veteran actress Piper Laurie is great as always as Asia's psychic mother. The supporting cast hold their own too.

Despite its differences from Argento's earlier classics, Trauma is a fine piece of film-making itself. It's a must-see for Argento fans and just right for those seeking an off-beat thriller!

*** 1/2 out of ****

Reviewed by Libretio 7 / 10

Unheralded masterpiece


Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Technovision)

Sound format: Dolby Stereo

A TV newsroom artist (Mark Rydell) helps a distraught anorexic (Asia Argento) to investigate the death of Argento's mother (Piper Laurie) at the hands of a monstrous serial killer.

Though often cited as the film which signalled a creative downturn in Dario Argento's career, TRAUMA is actually a much better entry than its reputation suggests. The victim of spotty theatrical distribution and horrendous pan-scanned video versions - which reduce the wide Technovision frame to a mere shadow of its former self - the film is an exercise in giallo excess, culminating in one of the finest Grand Guignol set-pieces of this director's long career. Indeed, far from providing evidence of 'creative decline', TRAUMA is actually a fine addition to Argento's filmography, and is ripe for reappraisal.

Despite its American setting, the film is defiantly European in style and execution, employing ultra-wide scope framing, inventive camera-work (including a bizarre shot from the point-of-view of a butterfly!!), ornate narrative structure and eccentric characterizations. It's no wonder some of the supporting American players seem a little disconcerted by the director's unconventional approach (including Frederic Forrest as a doctor sporting an unexplained neck-brace, and James Russo as a typically hard-boiled cop, always one step behind the film's youthful protagonists)! And the script - co-written by Argento and celebrated fantasy author T.E.D. Klein - adheres faithfully to the giallo template, punctuating its convoluted storyline with several grisly murders (though not *that* grisly, considering the involvement of makeup wiz Tom Savini), and a number of compelling set-pieces: The seance which ends in murder; the mental institution where the killer disposes of an important 'clue'; the room full of billowing drapes (an authentic stroke of genius); and the climactic revelation of the killer's motive, which is so utterly horrific, it almost justifies his/her gruesome rampage. The movie ain't called TRAUMA for nothing!

At least two other versions of the film have surfaced in bootleg video form over the years, both of which plug a number of gaping editorial gaps in the official 'director's cut' (note, for instance, the abrupt introduction of Rydell and Asia at the beginning of the film), which indicates either distributor problems or a rushed post-production schedule. This may explain why Pino Donaggio's half-hearted score sounds like it was written and recorded before completion of principal photography and tailored to match the finished product, rather than the other way around. The cast is a typical Argentonian mixed bag: Asia portrays the same joyless harpy she's played in all her collaborations with Argento to date (including THE STENDHAL SYNDROME and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA), leaving Rydell to shoulder most of the film's emotional burden as a young man who learns to accept Asia's flaws whilst simultaneously falling in love with her (few) virtues. Frankly, she doesn't deserve him! Laurie makes much of her limited screen time as Asia's domineering mother, while Brad Dourif (the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy) plays a former doctor whose guilty conscience comes back to haunt him in the worst possible way. Watch out for ex-"Falcon Crest" star Laura Johnson in a brief but creepy performance (her final scene is genuinely chilling) as an ambitious TV news anchorwoman who tries to stake her claim on Rydell in no uncertain terms.

Reviewed by suspiria10 8 / 10

S10 Reviews: Trauma (1993)

Teenage Aura (Asia Argento) escapes a clinic where she is receiving treatment for an eating disorder. She gets rescued by a passing motorist (Christopher Rydell) who attempts to save her from committing suicide by jumping off a bridge. Things only get worse for poor Aura when she returns home to her parents (her mother played by Piper Laurie is a seer) are soon killed by a serial killer by the name of 'Head Hunter'. Aura attempts to get answers (with the help of the good Samaritan) as she fights her weakened state, the clinic personal and the serial killer.

Dario Argento once again mines the familiar giallo territory in this, his first American co-production. 'Trauma' has some of the horror masters most polished camera work. Known for his awesome killer POV shots, Argento will goes for the gusto here. 'Trauma' truly has some of his best work. The story (which was co-written by T.E.D. Klein) is a pretty solid effort complete with a twist ending. The scripts have never been the strongest components in Argento's work but this one is pretty strong and the twists and turn jell pretty well. Tom Savini once again enters slasher territory with all sorts of lovely be-headings. The fake heads created for the film are some of the best. The cast does a nice job (look for a young looking Brad Dourif in a glorified cameo) with the material. 'Trauma is another strong giallo entry by one of the Masters.

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