#31DaysOfHorror: Opera (1987)

opera-pA young opperata is stalked by a deranged fan bent on killing the people associated with her to claim her for himself.

I’ll be the first to admit it: I am really just not a fan of Dario Argento’s work. I will readily admit that his films are stylish, and his look is distinct and interesting. The trouble, for me, comes from the movies over-complicated really simple plots. He lays the foundation for an interesting and solid story, and then piles his surreal and bizarre images on top of that, unfortunately it just doesn’t really do it for me. I do realize that I’m in the minority, and I haven’t quite given up yet, it just seems relevant to bring that up at the top of this review.

Opera is a perfect example of what I mentioned above, the story is pretty simple and makes for a pretty watchable film. That said, there are some shifting perspectives and strange scenes that make the movie feel disjointed. That really is too bad, because the base story works really well, and I would even say that I actually enjoyed Opera. While I’m not a huge fan of the surreal pieces of Argento’s films, his visual style is definitely appealing.

opera

The writing is a bit so-so, and the ending in particular is rushed and almost feels tacked on to create a twist. You’re given the reveal via news broadcast, and then the killer is just sort of… there. The plot does move that way, it doesn’t feel particularly natural and feels written, if that makes any sense.

Cristina Marsillach is what kept me engaged in this particular film. Her character is interesting, and I was keen to know what happened next. It obviously didn’t help that she’s a beautiful actress on top of that. She commits to the more gruesome elements of the film, and seems to be taking the role pretty seriously, even the moments that don’t make a ton of sense. She manages to recover from the grisly murders she is forced to watch rather quickly, which I think comes more from the direction than anything else.

That’s really the biggest hampering the movie has, the scenes don’t seem to connect properly to each other, and you can really tell that the movie wasn’t filmed in order. I realize that most films aren’t, but this one has that feeling throughout the entire thing.

The visual effects are pretty good, there are some pretty grim deaths throughout, including a particularly nasty stab through the mouth. The most interesting of the lot was probably a gun being fired through a peephole, which resulted in a brutal and effective death. There’s enough of a balance between the movie being grim and being entertaining that it does work better than I expected to.

As I said, I’m not the biggest fan of this particular filmmaker, but overall this was a pretty entertaining movie. While I wouldn’t say it was good or even completely made sense, I would actually recommend it. If you’re already a fan of Argento then you’ve probably seen it already, and if you’re not it might make you interested to see more from him. That’s what it did for me.

MY RATING: ***

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