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An Aria of Terror from the Maestro of Horror – DARIO ARGENTO When a young opera singer takes over the leading role in an avant-garde presentation of Verdi's Macbeth, she triggers the madness of a crazed fan who repeatedly forces the diva to watch the brutal murders of her friends. Will the woman's recurring nightmare hold the key to the identity of this psychopath or does an even more horrific evil lay waiting in the wings? The legendary Dario Argento (DEEP RED, SUSPIRIA) co-wrote and directed this savagely stunning thriller featuring some of the most shocking sequences of the maestro's entire career. Previously available in the U.S. only in heavily edited form, this horror classic has now been restored from original Italian vault materials and is presented uncut, uncensored and loaded with Extras.
"This Is Argento At His Stylish, Horrifying Best!" -- The Psychotronic Video Guide
- "Conducting Dario Argento's OPERA" - Interviews with Co-Writer/Director Dario Argento, Cinematographer Ronnie Taylor, Animatronics Artist Sergio Stivaletti, Composer Claudio Simonetti, and Stars Daria Nicolodi and Urbano Barberini
- Theatrical Trailers
- "Opera" Music Video by Daemonia
- Dario Argento Bio
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Now, don't get me wrong, I love Argento's films like SUSPIRIA and DEEP RED for what they are- often fever-pitched, nightmare-logic, saturated color labyrinths. However, OPERA has a solid narrative which almost completely makes sense without suffering for it. Also, almost all the acting is quite good and I found myself truly caring about almost every murder victim, unusual in my experiences with Argento's other films. It was an added layer of characterization which enhanced everything else about the story.
My only significant problems with the story were a few significant lapses in common sense judgement- I won't be spoiling anything by saying that, once again, I found myself wondering why someone who's been threatened by a stalking maniac wouldn't turn on every light in their apartment. And, occasionally, the heroine shows a distracting almost blase' attitude after witnessing some truly horrible events. This may have been intended to show her in shock, but, if so, I felt it wasn't entirely successful.
One aspect which didn't bother me nearly as much as I expected was the occasional use of loud, generic Italian heavy rock music. It's SO infrequent and for me it actually works within Argento's contrasting images (and the wonderful editing) of beauty and brutal violence. In an ideal world, I'd like him to have chosen something, well, BETTER, but, it didn't spoil or distract me from immersing myself in the movie experience.
The camera-work, lighting, set design and editing are SUPERB without being distractingly "hey look! this is arty!" Almost everything works without being too carefully melded together. The violence is shocking as ever, almost more so in places where we only HEAR what is being done to someone. The music overall is PERFECT. And the ending, while puzzling, was more thought-provoking than outright annoying.
This is the work of a true, dare I say it? maestro with more to share and show and tell than to prove and shock with. I look forward to watching it again and again.
Oh! And, the dubbing isn't half-bad either! QUITE the accomplishment for this type of and era of film.
Blue underground DVD has solid video quality and sound, but this film could definitely use a Blu Ray upgrade.
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He is BRILLIANT after all
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