Italy / Spain / USA / UK 2009
Rafael Primorac, Richard Rionda Del Castro, Adrien Brody, Donald A. Barton (executive), Luis de Val (executive), Billy Dietrich (executive), Patricia Eberle (executive), Oscar Generale (executive), Nesim Hason (executive), Lisa Lambert (executive), Martin McCourt (executive), David Milner (executive) for Hannibal Pictures, Giallo Production Ltd, Opera Film Produzione, Media Films
directed by Dario Argento
starring Adrien Brody, Elsa Pataky, Emmanuelle Seigner, Robert Miano, Silvia Spross, Giuseppe Lo Console, Valentina Izumi, Daniela Fazzolari, Lorenzo Pedrotti, Taiyo Yamanouchi, Liam Riccardo, Barbara Mautino, Anna Varello, Linda Messerlinker, Lorenzo Ceppodomo, Nicolò Morselli, Maryann McIver, Giancarlo Judica Cordiglia, Patrick Oldani, Farhad Re, Massimo Franceschi, Andrea Redavid
written by Jim Agnew, Sean Keller, Dario Argento, music by Marco Werba, special effects makeup by Sergio Stivaletti
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When on her way home to meet with her sister Linda (Emmanuelle Seigner)
who has come to visit from abroad, model Celine (Elsa Pataky) is kidnapped
by her cabdriver, a pervert who has made it his habit to brutally torture
and then kill his victims.
When Celine doesn't show up even though she
has called her only minutes before, Linda gets worried, and the next day
she wants to report her as a missing person - but is only directed to
weirdo cop Enzo Avolfi (Adrien Brody), who investigates a serkialkiller's
killing spree - and Celine's description perfectly fits his killer's
victim profile. At first, Enzo, a loner with a dark past (he killed the
killer of his mother), doesn't want to have anything to do with Linda, but
she is persistent, and eventually the two of them work on the case
together and by and by piece together a puzzle - but the final and
decisive clue comes from another victim of the killer, a Japanese girl
(Valentina Izumi), who just before dying can utter two words about the
killer, "yellow skin" ... and that coming from an Asian girl is
probably not a rather rude paraphrase for the killer being Asian. So Linda
figures the killer must have some kind of liver malfunction and thus must
be in need of constant medication.
Linda is right of course, and the
fact that his skin is yellow and he is pretty ugly has made him a killer
in the first place, a killer of beautiful young women to be precise. Linda
and Enzo are on the lookout for the killer at a local clinic, and soon
enough he shows up, too - but escapes Enzo when he tries to apprehend him.
But now he and Linda have a name to pin onto him, and an address, too ...
where they find neither him nor Celine, but a laptop containing photos of
her being tortured.
The killer meanwhile is so upset about the police
finally being on his trail that he drops his guard for a bit - just enough
for Celine to make an escape - and almost successfully, too.
photos, the police can tell that Celine must be held at an abandoned gas
plant, and they are quick to get to the place and comb it thoroughly. It
is the place alright, they figure that much, but no trace of either Celine
or the killer.
Nope, the killer shows up at Linda's doorstep and tries
to force her to get him medication and get him out of the country in
exchange for her sister - but then Enzo busts in all charged up, and
believing he is saving Linda by doing so, he kills the killer, who doesn't
give away where he has hidden Celine ... who unbeknowest to everyone lies
tied up but alive in the trunk of a public parking garage, where she might
never be found ...
To call your movie after a film genre -
giallos were Italian-produced serialkiller whodunnits with strong horror
influences that were extremely popular in the 1970's - might be a bit
preposterous, but then again, director Dario Argento was around when the
genre flourished, helped to bring it to full bloom and made some of the
best and most enduring genre entries, so who else but him to make a film
Unfortunately, while Argento's films from the
1970's and also 1980's were often ingenious, Giallo is just a
middle-of-the-road serialkiller flick. Sure, all the elements are at least
theoretically in the right places to make this film a genuine giallo, but
there is nothing on top of that: What Dario Argento has delivered here is
a film lacking his usual ingenuity, and apart from the killer's death it's
also devoid of his trademark breathtaking setpieces. And he even shies
away from too graphic violence, which he in the past managed to put to
film like no other. Add to this a formulaic script full of clichée-filled
yet bland characters and a wooden cast (especially Adrien Brody gives a
terrible performance) and you are left with - not the worst film ever but
a film certainly not worthy of Dario Argento.