Director: Dario Argento

1979, 98min.

Language: Italian with English subtitles


The influential first film by Dario Argento inspired the 1960s and 70s Italian genre known as giallo, spawning hundreds of mystery/thrillers sharing essential elements. In a strange city, a man or woman witnesses a murder – but can not identify the killer. Solving the mystery is paramount, woven together with psychological horror, eroticism, and stylized scenes of violence. It opens as an American writer named Tony, who is visiting Rome watches helplessly as a murderer in a black cape brutally attacks a woman. She survives and assists Tony and his girlfriend Julie as they begin a dangerous, suspenseful search for the serial killer through the dark alleyways of Rome. The best of its kind, and how could it not be with daring cinematography by three-time Academy Award winner Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now) and the moody, alluring soundtrack by Ennio Morricone (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). “This dazzling debut is downright scary.” – Kevin Turan, Los Angeles.