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Phenomena (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
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Phenomena (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Jennifer's not your ordinary girl. For one thing, she has a great rapport with insects. She loves them and they feel comfortable around her. A retired instructor and entomologist, Dr. John McGregor, who befriends her, tells her that it's "normal for insects to be slightly telepathic"--hence their attraction to her. But is it normal for her, she asks? In one instance, her presence calms the insects in his lab. She's also a somnabulist in times of stress and change. In fact it is one of these nighttime walks that leads her to the doctor.
Her roommate Sophie then vanishes, and with the help of a firefly, finds a glove that might have been worn by the killer. McGregor, convinced that the killer might have kept remains of his victim where he lives, encourages Jennifer to seek him out with the help of the Great Sarcophagus, a fly that can find a corpse from long distances. "You're in a position to do extraordinary things." he tells her, listing her and the fly as "the two greatst detective ever known. That fly is your magic wand."
There are some revisits to old themes: e.g. schoolgirls being murdered (Suspiria), strict headmistresses (Suspiria) decapitations (Deep Red), underwater sequences (Inferno), and attack by animal hordes (again Inferno). The best effect involves hoardes of flies surrounding one side of the school, coming when Jennifer's in distress. In a behind the scenes documentary after the movie, special visual effects man Luigi Cozzi explains how they did that shot.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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
Creepers is the American release of Phenomena. Either is a good introduction to the strange and strangely compelling world of Dario Argento. Jennifer Connelly is delightful.Published on Jan. 26 2010 by John Kittridge
The first movie of Dario Argento's I watched was Opera. The second movie was Tenebrae. Out of all three movies directed by Dario Argento that I have seen so far, this is the best... Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2004 by Jeremy Matthew Brown
It's hard to find horror movies that haven't taken some kind of thought or idea from a previous one but Dario Argeto's ("Tenebre", "Susupiria", "Deep... Read morePublished on July 15 2004 by Guido
In Switzerland, an American girl named "Jennifer" ( Played by Jennifer Connelly) is attending a girl school there but unknown to her she has special telepathic powers... Read morePublished on June 22 2004 by John Lindsey
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
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