5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Slightly disappointing, but...,
By A Customer
This review is from: Trauma [DVD]  (DVD)
...not as disappointing as some would have you believe. The storyline is probably one of the best Argento has come up with, it's just that the execution is flawed (So, a complete reversal of 'Suspiria', which had a minimal plot but stunning execution).
The murder weapon is fantastic, for one thing. Basically a rectangular box with a wire loop, it electronically constricts around the neck until the head is severed- needing no strength, and giving the impression of a gruesome inevitability... The murderer is also able to improvise (The device is broken? Why not use the lift for decapitation?) and is psychotic because of a horrifying event, which to some viewers justified the rampage.
So where did this go wrong? Argento is muted. I don't mean that it isn't gory enough, as Argento doesn't need gore to be Argento (it merely helps), but florishing touches are missing, or not quite as evident as elsewhere. There seems to be a curious slackness, a lack of enthusiasm for it all. Perhaps, since it was made in America, Argento felt he should play it safe stylistically. He certainly hasn't shown any eagerness to go back.
Another reservation is the music. Argento's films try above all to provoke an emotional response from the audience- see, again, 'Suspiria' for a superlative soundtrack. But the music here is bland and uninspired- like you'd get on a bad TV movie. And that completely kills any atmosphere Argento builds up.
But- the automatic garrotte! I WANT ONE! I WANT ONE! I WANT ONE!
If you like Argento, go for it. If you don't know him, go for 'Sleepless' or 'Cat O'Nine Tails'. If you don't like him, stay away. This one will do nothing to change your views.