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When her mother (Elizabeth Turner) commits suicide, little Virginia
(Fausta Avelli) has a clear vision of it, even though she is hundreds of
miles away ...
18 years later: Virginia (now played by Jennifer O'Neill) still has
supernatural visions, & even though most of them prove wrong before
long, she catches the interest of parapsychologist Luca (Marc Porel). Her
loatest vision though is especially vivid, that of a woman being walled
in. What's especially unsettling though is that she saw the woman being
walled in in her husband Francesco's (Gianni Garko) villa, which she sees
for the first time only after her vision ... immediately she tears
down the wall she saw the woman being walled in, & really, she finds a
corpse there ... that of a woman about 25. & since the woman turns out
to be Francesco's former lover (before he met Virginia) & was walled
in in his house, he is arrested upon suspicion.
But Virginia is convinced that her husband is innocent, so, withthe
help of Luca, she tries everything to prove his innocence ... & then
there's something else, some things about her vision do not seem quite
right, since the vision involved a woman in her fifties murdered (the
victim was only 25) a magazine that hadn't been published back then, &
one of the prime suspects, Rospini (Gabriele Ferzetti), who has a mustache
in her vision but had a beard back then ... so maybe Virginia's vision was
a premonition ?
Still, eventually, Virginia & Luca dig up evidence that the murder
victim was still alive after her husband has already left the country for
several years in America ... & that should be it.
... but then a mystery caller, an old woman (Veronica Michielini),
calls & promises to tell Virginia the truth. however, when Virginia
arrives at her place, the woman is not only already murdered, she also
turns out to be the dead woman of her vision, & before long, Rospini
(with a mustache) is after her, just like in her vision. However, when he
chases her through an abandonec church, he falls down some scaffolding
& ends up seriously wounded.
Virginia heads home to her husband, who has since been released from
prison ... but meanwhile, Luca finds out that the evidence they usedto
free Francesco, a photograph, doesn't prove anything at all, &
furthermore, in the hospital he was brought to, Rospini comes clean, that
years ago he, Francesco, the old woman & the murdered girl, were
involved in robbing an art gallery, but eventually the thing got out of
hand & Francesco murdered the girl.
Back at Francesco's home, he knocks out Virginia, then walls her up,
just like in her vision. & when finally Luca shows up to rescue her,
it seems already too late since by now Virginia is neatly hidden away
behind a wall ... until the alarm of her wristwatch goes off, playing a
melody just like in her vision ...
Generally speaking, gialli (a specifically Italian mix of the murder
mystery & the serial killer film) were never high on the credibility
scale, & this one is no exception, with all its characters chasing
after visions when there's a very real murder at hands ... but if you can
accept that, Seven Notes in Black is a pretty fine mystery that's
both stylish & suspenseful, & despite the occasional suspension of
credibility it features a coherent, straightforward storyline without being
blunt or superficial. & the violence is rather subtle, a far cry from
director Fulci's later gorefests.
Interestingly, this film was remade in India in 1991 as 100
Days by Partho Ghosh starring Madhuri Dixit and Jackie Schroff.