The basic story..A clairvoyant (Jennifer O'Neill) has a vision of a death in a house and sees clearly a limping man and various objects in the room. When her husband (Gianni Garko) is arrested on suspicion of murder it's up to her to clear his name but her vision is still on her mind. "The Psychic" is definitely another winner from the late great Lucio Fulci and succeeds as a suspenseful thriller and stylish piece of work. You would class this as a Giallo but it's not similar to the Argento/Martino ones, however, it has all the tension you could hope for and genuine surprises. The acting is good also with Gianni Garko putting in a good performance, and Marc Parol is also good. It's not gory like Fulci's most famous work but I definitely recommend this classy film. 4.5 Stars. This release from Severin is region 1 and is totally uncut. The picture quality is great and extras are a featurette and trailer.
A good story/plot let down by unexceptional filmmaking/cinematography. I disagree that this is among Fulci's finest work, Lizard in a Woman's skin and Don't Torture a Duckling are both preferable. Though i dont think Fulci's Giallos are among the finest of the genre anyway. The Psychic feels like a made for TV movie or crime drama. Also the transfer is pretty badly interlaced, resulting in jerky screen during camera 'pan' movements and a helluva lot of lines all over the screen. See: Shriek Show giallo releases for similar shoddy picture. Enjoyable enough but could have been better. 3 stars.
IMPORTANT NOTE: IT IS ADVISABLE TO WATCH THE FILM BEFORE VIEWING THE SPECIAL FEATURES ON THIS DISC.
The Psychic, a.k.a. Sette Note In Nero (Seven Notes In Black) and Murder To The Tune Of Seven Black Notes, is an absorbing 1970s giallo film directed by the late, great Lucio Fulci, who is perhaps best-known for his gory horror movies such as Zombie Flesh Eaters and The Beyond.
The Psychic begins in England in 1959 with a woman committing suicide by throwing herself off a cliff. At the same time in Florence a young girl has a vision of this event. The young girl is the dead woman's daughter and she possesses clairvoyant powers.
Eighteen years later the girl, who is called Virginia, has now become a beautiful woman and she suddenly starts to have strange visions involving a broken mirror, a yellow taxi, a red light, a picture with writing on it, a religious painting, a mysterious red room, a murdered woman covered in blood, a statue resting on its side, a man with a moustache, a limping man, an unusual brand of cigarette resting on a blue ashtray, a magazine with a beautiful young woman on its cover and someone building a brick wall. What do all these images mean and are they somehow related? Are they flashbacks of things that have already happened or are they premonitions of events in the future? Where do Virginia and her new husband Francesco fit into all of this? Virginia sets out to try and put all the pieces of the puzzle together.
To go into greater detail would mean me writing a review that would be several pages long and revealing some of the intricacies of the plot but I will say that The Psychic is a fine example of the giallo film with a clever script that just uncovers enough information before it reaches its memorable conclusion. As is usual with this genre, there are some red herrings thrown in and things are not always what they appear to be.
Fulci's assured direction helps make this film a stylish, intriguing and sometimes spine-chilling murder-mystery/detective story. Giallo buffs will spot certain similarities with Dario Argento's Deep Red, Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now and Fulci's A Lizard In A Woman's Skin. The cast is a real bonus and includes Jennifer O'Neill, Gianni Garko, Marc Porel, Evelyn Stewart and Gabriele Ferzetti. The use of music is also very important and the haunting seven note theme that has great significance in this film must have had an impact on Quentin Tarantino as he used this theme on the soundtrack of Kill Bill Vol. 1.
The extra features include a short but over-zealous trailer that manages to reveal key plot elements and a 27 minute featurette containing scenes from the film and interviews with people involved with the making of the film. As with the trailer, this featurette reveals important aspects of the film's plot so I would strongly recommend that you view the film itself before you watch the extras.
I have been lucky enough to see all of Fulci's giallo films in their complete versions, as well as many of his other films, and I would rate The Psychic as one of his best works. I consider it to be a film that demands close attention and repeated viewings to fully appreciate it. In fact you could say that it hits all the right notes (sorry)! I am sure that many Lucio Fulci fans will love this film and for those of you not familiar with his work, or if you have only seen his extreme gore movies, then you may be surprised by the director's skill and versatility.