OPERA (1987) Review

Directed by: Dario Argento
Starring: Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson, Urbano Barberini

This was only my third foray into the world of Dario Argento, but I'm quickly becoming a fan. If you consider horror and opera they seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, but when Mr Argento puts them together they work extremely well. 

Betty (Cristina Marsillach) is an understudy who finally gets her big break debuting as Lady Macbeth. The show is a success, save for an 'accident' which is attributed to the curse of Macbeth. But it quickly becomes apparent that she is being stalked by a killer, who ties her up, tapes pins beneath her eyes and forces her to watch while he brutally butchers those around her. Making things worse is the fact that every time somebody sees the killer's face or vaguely recognizes him, they end up dead. It becomes a race against time before Betty ends up as the next victim.

While Deep Red and Suspiria were both art films and horror films in equal measure, Opera is more of an art film. Although it is an art film with a significant number of brutal murders. It has plenty of twists and turns and is filmed in Argento's typical style with his trademark tracking shots. If there is one particular thing I love about Dario's films so far, it is the music. Deep Red's soundtrack performed by Goblin added so much more to the movie, and while the music of Opera is very different, it fits the film perfectly.
Before I watched this movie I was told to ignore logic while viewing it, and it's easy to see why. There are a lot of things that don't quite add up, but if you don't over-analyse it you will enjoy it.
I didn't think the acting was particularly great, but it is definitely above average. There is plenty of gore, but not as much tension as there was in Deep Red. Another difference between the two films is that while watching Deep Red, I had no clue who the killer was until the end. But with Opera I had a pretty good idea, and it turned out that I was right.

While Opera isn't as well accomplished as some of Argento's other films, it is a great film and definitely worth at least one viewing. Oh, and keep your eye out for the scene at the end of the film. It's kind of like a twisted version of The Sound of Music.

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