Italian horror maestro Dario Argento made his name by turning homicide into modern art with a cinematic flourish, but with Phenomena he 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I just didn't really like this film. I had much higher hopes.....maybe I will watch it again. I probably am just used to more modern horror films and this one was just a bit... Read morePublished on Aug. 12 2013 by Bean
the movie looks Ok for its age. a few special effects really show outdated, but what can you do.
Jennifer Connelly is good in her part. Read more
Occasionally I watch a gross-out horror movie, if I like the actor and it has high reviews. I tend to forget that the high reviews always come from horror fans. Read morePublished on May 27 2004 by Eolake
Jennifer Connelly, Iron Maiden.
That says it all. Any movie with Jennifer and the Maiden in it is just freaking awesome!
Before I have seen this movie I saw Tenebre, Suspiria and Opera in order. The order also shows how I liked them. Yes, I liked Tenebre better than Suspiria. Read morePublished on April 21 2004 by Luppapa
After watching Dario Argento's 1985 film "Phenomena," I have finally started to make serious inroads into his substantial body of work. Read morePublished on April 17 2004 by Jeffrey Leach
Yet another classic from Dario Argento's golden period.
This is one of my favourites - a mesmerising blend of stunning camerawork, imagery and music that leaves one breathless... Read more