I don't know what to say, first off Dario Argento is god!!! This movie is wild and crazy, Dario Argento is able to keep his stories fresh and on the edge, yet make it watchable, without the viewer saying "Now what the hell was that?" The camera work is amazing, as well as the directing and Jennifer acting is wonderful (not bad, since she was only 14 when this film was made). Donald gave us a super acting job as well. The beauty of Dario Argento is he always pushes his skills to the limit and the result is a great movie, his effects are at time amusing, yet insane!!!! This is a crack version of Snow White and if one buys this movie they must get the soundtrack by Goblin or don't even bother. A must for Argento fans, a must for movie fans!!!!!!!! Dark, Demented, Dario!!!!!!!!!!
*** out of **** While not as great as past efforts such as "Deep Red" and "Suspiria", Dario Argento's "Phenomena" is still a damn fine horror film. It's not a genre classic, and it's not powerful horror, but what works here works very, very well. I'm always up for Argento's one-of-a-kind directorial style; although one such vision has been decaying over the years (see Argento's "Phantom of the Opera"). However, "Phenomena" came out just when Argento was getting used to this … more
It is rather brisk in this field. The leaves are descending like a tapestry of aloof dreams. The wind entices these leaves into a plume of whimsical billowing ontological paradox. Then I recall that I … more
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Italian horror maestro Dario Argento made his name by turning homicide into modern art with a cinematic flourish, but withPhenomenahe takes his stylish mayhem in new directions. The film opens with the dreamy grace of a fairy tale: a young girl wandering the green meadows of Switzerland and discovering a gingerbread house, wherein lives a monster more modern than mythic, a psychopathic maniac who plunges the picture into a lush nightmare. Jennifer (Jennifer Connelly in her first starring role), a gifted young girl at a Swiss school, has a psychic link to the insect world and develops a connection with the killer through midnight sleepwalks. With the help of a lonely, wheelchair-bound entomologist (genre stalwart Donald Pleasence, who inflects his sonorous tenor with a gentle Scottish burr) she turns telekinetic detective, which only draws her closer to the killer's lair. The densely plotted story becomes muddled at times (this is the busiest film in Argento's oeuvre) but the lyrical cinematography and gorgeous nocturnal imagery--dreamy sleepwalks, nightmarish murders, hideous horrors that emerge in the dark of night--take on a poetic elegance not seen in his previous work, providing the tale with a kind of dream logic. This is a slasher film reborn as an exquisitely grim fantasy: Jennifer in Argentoland.--Sean Axmaker