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Deep Red Reviews

Another exercise in cinematic style from Argento, whose BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE had an immense impact on the genre. Hemmings, an English music teacher in Rome, hears screams and comes to the aid of a telepathist (Meril) who has been brutally attacked. Arriving on the scene too late to save the victim, Daly joins the woman's lover (Mauri), another telepathist, and a local newswoman (Nicolodi, wife of director Argento) in the search for the killer, which leads to several more murders and several attempts on Daly's own life. Once again using a murder-mystery format to experiment cinematically, Argento here presents a stylish and compelling film that boasts remarkable visuals and an inventive use of sound effects and music. The edge-of-your-seat climax, in which Argento gleefully manipulates his audience, is quite impressive. Hemmings, whose strong identification with his role in Michelangelo Antonioni's BLOW-UP (1966) is used by Argento to great advantage, turns in an excellent performance as the musician who, after witnessing a murder, is drawn into a confusing, gruesomely violent world.