DARK GLASSES l Courtesy Fantasia Film Festival

DARK GLASSES, aka Occhiali Neri in Italian, is Giallo and Horror Maestro Dario Argento’s return after ten years. Argento hasn’t made a film since 2012’s Dario Argento’s Dracula, which was quite an experience. DARK GLASSES is more of a return to the Giallo style for the Italian writer and director but it has a somewhat different tone than some of his previous works.

The film stars Ilenia Pastorelli (They Call Me Jeeg Robot) as Diana, a sex worker. It introduces Andrea Zhang as Chin, a young boy orphaned by a car accident that also blinds Diana shortly after she witnesses a total solar eclipse in the film’s eerie opening sequence. The film also stars Andrea Gherpelli (L’alligatore) as Matteo, Mario Pirrello (Marilyn’s Eyes) as Chief Inspector Aleardi, Maria Rosaria Russo (We Can Do That) as Ispettrice Bajani, Gennaro Iaccarino (“Sens8”) as Ispettore Baldacci and Asia Argento as Rita.

The film is written by Dario Argento and Franco Ferrini who have co-written a number of screenplays together for Argento’s films and related projects back to Argento’s Phenomena in 1985. While certain aspects of Argento’s style are still in place, the film seems to take a somewhat different tack in certain aspects. Giallo fans will be happy with the bloody kills that are in the film, but there aren’t as many and they aren’t as intricate as some of the ones in past Argento films. There also seems to be more of a focus on characters and character development than I have seen in previous Argento efforts.

Cinematographer Matteo Cocco (Hidden Away) does a fine job of lensing the film. It has a very glossy sheen even during the night shots. Arnaud Rebotini (The Blair Witch, Entourage) has composed a propulsive electronic score that is catchy.

DARK GLASSES is Dario Argento feeling out some different areas of his chosen genre.

DARK GLASSES made its Canadian Premiere at the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival.

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