Mr. William Nightshade Reviews Phenomena (1985)

Salutations my screechers, screamers, and scary dreamers,

Tonight’s tale of terror entitled “Phenomena” sees a psychic schoolgirl solving slayings at her secluded school.  A monkey, a murderer, and a mutant muddle her preternatural probings.

The score varies between ethereal and eighties rock so most of it is good while the rest is schlock.  In a choice that was certainly for the best, the unearthly tunes outweigh the rest.  The airy music is particularly special as it perfectly captures our protagonist’s gift for the mystical.

Apart from the soundtrack the story is the main star and it manages to pack in both the wondrous and the bizarre.  From primates to murderers from psychics to insects there is plenty here to ingest or dissect.  In the interest of not giving too much away allow me to just quickly say that most movies could not shift from telepaths to monkeys but Argento handles such transitions with relative ease.

Of course since this is a giallo one knows that violence is sure to follow so I figure before I give a final score I ought to focus upon the gore.  Some of the kills may haunt one’s memory for a while even if most of them lack Argento’s usual style.  In a way the lessened harshness makes this effort more inviting though hardcore fans may want something more biting.

Story/Concept: 2
Direction/Style: 2
Scares: 1
Atmosphere: 1
Rewatchability: 2
TOTAL: 8/10 

In summation, the dizzying plot and otherworldly score keep on bringing me back for more and while this is not Argento’s best, I find it to be more entertaining than all the rest.

Stick to the shadows my fine friends.

Sincerely,
Mr. William Nightshade