Turin, 1983: Homicide detective Ulysses Moretti (Max Von Sydow) investigates the brutal murder of a woman whose 13-year-old son, Giacomo Betti (Daniele Angius), witnessed his mother's awful death an English horn was forced down her throat without seeing the killer's face. Moretti promises the boy he'll solve the crime, even if it takes the rest of his life. Forensic evidence suggests that the killer is small, and the suicide of Vincenzo de Fabritiis (Luca Fagioli), a dwarf who befriended several local children including Giacomo and was a successful writer of giallo thrillers, seems to close the case. De Fabritiis' unpublished papers includes a grisly nursery rhyme called "Death Farm," whose verses seem to correspond to two killings, including that of Giacomo's mother. Seventeen years later, Giacomo (Stefano Dionisi) returns to Turin to stay with his childhood friend, Lorenzo (Robert Zibetti). Meanwhile, a prostitute (Barbara Lerici), flees the apartment of a client after she overhears him singing a morbid nursery rhyme and muttering that he's killed many people but won't ever get caught. She makes it onto a train, but the killer stalks and murders her while a storm rages. The aging Moretti, now plagued by insomnia, fading memory and a potentially fatal heart condition, is called out of retirement when it appears that the "Death Farm" murders have resumed. Despite his diminished physical and mental condition, Moretti joins forces with Giacomo to solve the new murders and determine their connection to the original killings. This film marked Argento's return to the pure giallo after the gothic horror of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1998), but is less than a return to form. Though anchored by von Sydow's low-key performance, the mechanics of the story (which strongly recalls Argento's far superior DEEP RED, 1976) are all too visible and the murder set pieces are predictably vicious without achieving the audacity that distinguished the director's earlier work.
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- Released: 2000
- Rating: R
- Review: Turin, 1983: Homicide detective Ulysses Moretti (Max Von Sydow) investigates the brutal murder of a woman whose 13-year-old son, Giacomo Betti (Daniele Angius), witnessed his mother's awful death an English horn was forced down her throat wit… (more)