Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Film Review: Opera (1987)

Opera (Review)
Italy/1987
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"It's suspenseful, violent, and stylish."

A young and rising opera singer is targeted by a maniac who aims to kill anyone who gets close to her...

Opera follows Betty (Cristina Marsillach), a young opera singer. When the lead for Macbeth is injured in a car accident, Betty, the understudy, is given the role of Lady Macbeth. Although initially nervous, her stellar performance launches her career. However, soon after her debut, she's attacked by a masked maniac. Said maniac forces her to watch as he attacks her boyfriend. As a matter of fact, he forces her to watch all of his attacks. Fearing for her life, Betty, her director, and the police race to find the identity of the killer. It leads to an interesting revelation—nothing jaw-dropping, but more than effective—and a great ending. The last ten minutes or so of the film are very effective.

Opera is a great slasher. The plot is simple but effective. The idea of a maniac stalking a rising star is compelling, even if most of us will never reach stardom. (Let's face it, people, we're too 'regular' to be famous opera singers.) The characters are interesting, too. They're not all thought-out and deep, but they're adequate. However, there are those characters that seem important only to be completely dismissed after they've served their duty for the plot. (i.e. plot contrivances) Also, the characters tend to do that classic stutter after they've spotted the killer. 'Wait a second. You–You–You're...' It's like a villain who tells you his master plan before killing you only to die before he can execute said plan. Other than that, the film works incredibly well as a slasher. It's suspenseful, violent, and stylish. There are some amazing sequences in here.

The acting was good. The version I watched was dubbed—I think? I don't know. At first I thought it was dubbing, then I thought it might have been stiff delivery, then I thought it was dubbing again. I'm not sure. Either way, Cristina Marsillach performed well as the leading lady. She's stiff here and there, but she's not horrible. Ian Charleson performed well during his limited screen time, too. The film was shot beautifully. I loved the camerawork and lighting in this film. The music was also great. The film was written by Dario Argento and Franco Ferrini; Argento also served as director. There are a few minor issues with the writing, like the characters and their convenient stutters. The direction was great, though. Argento was a true visionary.

Overall, Opera is a great film. If you're looking for a stylish, bloody, and suspenseful slasher, you've found it. There are some minor issues here and there, but it is otherwise a great experience for horror fans. I think this is one of Argento's better films.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, some nudity.

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