Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Film Review: Giallo (2009)

Giallo (Review)
Italy/Spain/United Kingdom/United States/2009
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

In Italy, Celine, a model, is kidnapped on her way home to her visiting sister, Linda (Emmanuelle Seigner). Linda contacts Inspector Enzo Avolfi (Adrien Brody), who is a lonewolf-style inspector currently tracking a serial killer known as "Yellow" (also played by Adrien Brody, not a spoiler). Linda fears her sister has been abducted, and Enzo believes she may already be a victim of the vicious serial killer.

Although originally rejected, Linda eventually joins Enzo in the investigation. They look through gruesome photographs of past victims and begin to think like a serial killer. They also - luckily - find clues from a victim that survived and uttered a few words. As the investigation continues, we also delve deeper into the mind of Enzo, who has been tormented by his past - the murder of his mother and his subsequent retaliation. This somewhat uneventful investigation ends abruptly as Enzo and Yellow face off, with Linda's fate in their hands...

Giallo is a horror/slasher from beginning to end. It is very cliché and generic - it doesn't explore any new territory, and it unfortunately suffers from poor execution. You know who the killer is from the beginning, and his past is only touched upon briefly; he is creepy and effective, and a very brutal psychopath. The investigation on the other hand is mostly bland and uneventful - it wouldn't qualify as a top-tier investigation. The film lacks both tension and terror, so it fails as a horror film. It also starts to drag its feet towards the end, with unnecessarily prolonged scenes. The ending of the film is unfulfilling, it seems to be leaning towards a generic happy-ending, but I suppose you can also think of the worse possible scenario.

The acting in this film is generally bad. Adrien Brody plays two different characters, and he plays them well enough. Emmanuelle Seigner has a very robotic delivery with most of her dialogue - she just doesn't feel like a real person. On top of the poor dialogue, which may be blamed on the writing, Seigner tends to overact during some scenes and underwhelm during others - considering she is a major part of the film, this is a significant issue. The makeup effects were great during some scenes, although Yellow's makeup was often odd. I like the cinematography in the film, particularly the moody lighting. I also enjoyed the versatile music, although it was occasionally ill-fitted; the music ranged from eerie to epic.

Overall, Giallo is a generic "been there, done that" slasher. The acting is bad from most of the cast as much of the dialogue is unnatural, poorly written, and poorly performed. Technically, I liked the cinematography, the music, and the makeup - but this can't redeem the formulaic story and the poor execution. I recommend a stream or a rental.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, and nudity (mostly through photographs).

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