Mmm... couldn't finish it.
"Mysterious murders continue throughout the film as Betty is stalked and those around her meet their unfortunate end. The killer binds and places tape under Betty's eyelids with needles attached so she is unable to blink, and therefore forced to watch as the murders take place. Meanwhile, Betty continues to have frightening dreams involving a masked person and her mother. During the final performance of the opera the killer is revealed, and Betty must confront her past in a terrifying climax." Wiki
I didn't quite get that far, even while surfing elsewhere on the net at the same time. Started clock watching at 8mins in, patiently waited for some something to happen, wasn't impressed with what I saw, the singing is lovely. Stopped it at 36mins in after the protagonist delivers a flighty recounting to a police investigator of her post-coitus restraining by the killer who goes on to murder her lover.
Lettuce see... three years later in 'Two Evil Eyes' Dario Argento's half of the $9m total budget divided between him and Romero could have been anywhere between $4 to $6m, and he totally phoned that one in despite there being plenty of well executed horror films prior to that and this, for that matter.
Here, the relatively massive budget is probably better spent on the beautiful location, extras, and assorted props/costumes and such - but... I don't think it was money well spent.
Now, compared to 'Hellraiser' (at a eighth of the budget) that came out in the same year, 'Predator' (at nearly twice the budget), or 'The Fly' the year before (also at twice the budget) this is much more of a classic thriller than a horror film.
"Maitland McDonagh wrote about Argento in her book Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento (1991). Argento is also mentioned in Art of Darkness, a collection of promotional stills, poster art and critical essays edited by Chris Gallant. British journalist Alan Jones published Profondo Argento, a compendium of set reports, interviews and biographical detail. A recent book by James Gracey, simply titled Dario Argento, provides fresh critical analysis and an exploration of Argento's far-reaching impact on modern horror cinema and popular culture. Englishsound designer, writer and musician Heather Emmett published Sounds to Die For: Speaking the Language of Horror Film Sound, which includes the first in-depth study of the use of sound in Argento's films."
"The director’s gaze is as pervasive, thrilling and voyeuristic as ever, but he adds a nastier subversive edge to proceedings this time by forcing Betty to watch the horrendous murders courtesy of the killer, who tapes needles under her eyes. Not just a nod to the misogyny of old, it’s also a clever comment on our unblinking fascination with screen violence, and the compulsion we feel to keep watching. Nowhere else in the film does Argento particularly feels the need to update his stock formula in such a fashion but it’s slickly done and sick nonetheless. "
Yeah... That bolded part may be trying a bit hard to make a silk purse out of a fine leather purse.
It does have some bloody parts to it though. As if the director is trying to be ugly to the viewer.
Don't know if I'll be watching any more Argento films. He was 46/47 when he did this. I know artists change across periods and phases, but he was too old to be a slave to old conventions, (maybe its a US/Italian cultural difference). The horror scene had done moved onto "less thrilling" grounds.
If you LIKE semi-romantic old thriller "horror" films D. Argento may be your guy.