Sunday, 2 October 2011

Something Slippery & Buggy Jitters

Polish director Andrzej Zulawski's Possession is deeply disturbing movie. Sam Neil quits his job and returns to Berlin in an effort to save his marriage only to discover his wife is losing her mind and her frequent unexplained absences, violence and apparent infidelities stretch Neil to breaking point but he's still unaware of the true nature of her paramour. With two wide eyed, manic performances from the leads and some brilliantly staged, excruciating scenes of marital disintegration this film is soaked in a troubling atmosphere that only accentuates the Cronenberg-esque body horror of the second half. A fascinating, multi layered horror film that's well worth digging around for.

Dario Argento's Phenomena stars a very young Jennifer Connelly as an actor's daughter sent to a Swiss boarding school only to discover it's besieged by a serial killer who has a penchant for the young ladies, oh and she has a peculiar psychic link with insects. Connelly's unusual ability soon attracts the attention of her classmates & teachers and before the can ship her off to the loony bin she escapes to home of an amiable Scottish entomologist played by Donald Pleasance who thinks it's a good idea for her to use her abilities to track the killer down. It's a strange mismash of ideas that's hamstrung with some ropey acting and a really crappy soundtrack but there's some nice touches along the way and Argento has enough style and skill to make a decent fist of it. I'd recommend Suspira or Profondo Rosso before you tackle this curious little flick.

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