I am a little torn on how to judge Dario Argento's "The Stendhal Syndrome". The movie is about a Rome police inspector Anna Manni (director Dario's daughter, Asia Argento; who seems a bit young to play a police detective), who is assigned to the anit-rape unit. Manni's current case is to track down a serial rapist and killer who is stalking girls in Rome and Florence. The killer finds her in an art museum. While she is there, she falls victom to the stendhal syndrome (that is, having a physical reaction to a powerful emotional piece of art) which catches the attention of the killer. Shortlyu there after, Anna is captured and savagly raped and beaten by the killer. The attack leaves her seriously damaged mentally and emotionally. She now must hurt and mutalate herself just to feel. While on vacation, Anna is captured and tortured again by the killer, but this time mangaes to escape and kill the man. But this only leads to deeper despair. "Stendhal" has it's good points and it has it's bad points. Well, first the good. This is a powerfully disturbed movie; unflinching and brutal. I must praise Ms. Argento for having the guts to play such a demanding role; what she lacks in talent (and she dose lack), she makes up for in courage and effort to play on such raw emotions. She has made a career out of playing victoms who, after they are damaged in whatever way, can only respond to new world with equal amount of venom. The violence is very disturbing, not so much the amount of gore (although there is plenty of that), but because it is so mean spirited. However, if you're a Dario Argento fan, you're probably, um, if not used to it, at least you're expecting it. Now onto the bad. Structurely, the movie seems disjointed. At first it is a serial killer movie, and then it is a tour through the mind of victom turned killer Anna. The twist of having Anna turned into the killer at the end seemed a little strange, but I guess it isn't too terrible a streach. The acting is pretty bad, but I blame dubbing the language from Italian to English. The movie also has long straches where seemingly nothing happens. This scene is the most offensive: Manni's partner and sometime lover comes over and tries to suduce her right after her first rape. How insensitive can the jerk be! But as if that wasn't bad enough, Anna turns the table on him and psudo-rapes him! How very disturbing. All in all, this is an Italian horror film, so it is intensly violent and gory. But it is Dario Argento, who knows that the more scary violence is done to the mind, not nessisarily the body.