Thrilling giallo masterpiece is considered by many to be one of the finest, if not the finest, films made by horror master Dario Argento. In the early 70s, Italian director Dario Argento took the world by surprise with the release of his first three movies, three excellent entries in the "Giallo" genre that had been growing in popularity across the 70's. In only two years, the success of "L' Uccello Dalle Piume Di Cristallo" ("The Bird with the Crystal Plumage"), "Il Gatto a Nove Code" ("The Cat o' Nine Tails") and "4 Mosche Di Velluto Grigio" ("Four Flies on Grey Velvet) turned Argento into the new rising star of horror, and his "animal trilogy" into classics of the Italian thriller. However, after this huge success he decided to move away from the Giallo for a while, and in order to explore something different, he made two TV dramas and a comedy named "Le Cinque Giornate" ("Five Days in Milan"). While this offered him the chance to try something new, it also allowed him to prepare his return to horror with what would be known as one of the best Giallo thrillers ever made: "Profondo Rosso", known in English as "Deep Red".
The film is the story of Marcus Daly (David Hemmings), a British piano player who is spending some time in Italy as a music teacher. One night after work, as he walks towards his apartment, he watches through the building's window and notices his neighbor Helga (Macha Méril) struggling with an unknown man. Helga, a psychic, gets brutally killed in front of Daly's eyes, who runs towards the apartment in a futile attempt to save her. After being interrogated by the police, Daly notices that he could have seen the killer's face among a group of portraits on the wall, but he can't truly figure out what's missing. This thought becomes an obsession and Daly decides to investigate the murder of the psychic with the help of reporter Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi), however, his obsession becomes dangerous as he becomes the killer's next target.
This film is a fascinating whodunit with enough creepy images to fill in a year worth of bad dreams. Here, Argento sticks to themes that have to do with childhood, a theme that's very prominent in many of his pictures. We get a creepy child song, a doll hanging from the ceiling, violent childish drawings and wait till you see that crazy robot puppet. Argento does his "you've seen something but it's not what it seems" trick and it works here again. Amidst all the mayhem there's also a good dose of humor that lightens the grim tone and a strong mystery. My only qualm with the film is that it lags on occasion. But it's worth it when you consider the reward : an original, stylish, creepy, bloody flick with enough plot twists to keep you on your toes.
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Dario Argento's Profondo Rosso arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Arrow Films. Please note that Disc 1 contains the Director's Cut, while Disc 2 contains the International Theatrical Cut of the film. I preffer the director's cut since it is the complete version and obviously more satisfying. There are a few frame transition issues, but considering the type of limitations various SDVD releases of Profondo Rosso have conveyed during the years, the quality improvements are indeed very impressive. As for the extras, theres a new introduction by composer Claudio Simonetti from the legendary Italian band Goblin. A commentary track with Danish filmmaker and Dario Argento expert Thomas Rostock, who discusses Profondo Rosso.
There are also two trailers, Lady in Red - Daria Nicolodi Remembers Profondo Rosso, Music to Murder For! - Claudio Simonetti on Deep Red and Rosso Recollections - Dario Argento's Deep Genius in which the legendary Italian director discusses what inspired him to film Profondo Rosso, its characters, his family, the films he liked while growing up, etc. As one of the modern masters of horror, Dario Argento's career is one of enormous value for horror fans, and among his many works, Profondo Rosso is an essential one. A remarkable work of style and technique, Deep Red is a movie that simply grabs you and doesn't let you go until it ends, making an excellent experience and a good companion piece to Argento's follow-up, the masterpiece Suspiria.