DARK GLASSES (2022) Reviews of Dario Argento’s Giallo thriller with Shudder HD trailer and release news

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Dark Glasses is a 2022 French-Italian Giallo thriller film about a serial killer nicknamed “The Cellist” stalking a blind high-class call girl. Also known as Black Glasses

Directed by Dario Argento from a screenplay co-written with Franco Ferrini and Carlo Lucarelli. Co-produced by Conchita Airoldi (actress in Torso; The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh), Asia Argento and Laurentina Guidotti. The electro soundtrack score was composed by Arnaud Rebotini.

The Getaway Films/Urania Pictures co-production stars Ilenia Pastorelli, Guglielmo Favilla, Maria Rosaria Russo, Andrea Zhang, Fabrizio Eleuteri and Cristiano Simone Iannone. The filmmaker’s daughter Asia Argento (Mother of Tears; The Stendhal Syndrome; Trauma) also has a role.

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Plot:
In Rome, a serial killer has strangled three prostitutes with cello rope. Nicknamed “The Cellist”, the murderer’s last rope is destined for Diana (Ilenia Pastorelli), a luxury escort who frequents the hotels of Via Veneto.

One night, the maniac chases driving a white van and rams her, sending her crashing into another car. She awakens in the hospital, shrouded in darkness. The diagnosis is final: she lost her sight in the crash.

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Rita (Asia Argento), a young woman from the Blind Society, helps Diana with her first steps in the darkness and in her new life; in the meantime, the police investigate, unsuccessfully.

However, it won’t stop there. The Cellist must finish his work. Diana, helped by Chinese orphan Chin, can only try to escape. The cat and mouse game has just begun…

Release date:
Dark Glasses had its world premiere at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival which was held from February 10th to 20th 2022. The film has also been marketed as Black Glasses which doubtless lost it some momentum.

Reviews:
” …it improves upon his past works, shows reference for the past and hopefully gives him the opportunity to continue to make films. I liked it — and not in that way that I feel indebted to Argento and have to say things like Sleepless is great up to the train scene — and appreciate that I cared more about its characters than any of his in some time.” B&S About Movies

” …plays out almost like a parody of his earlier work […] It lacks the suspense and style of Argento’s work in the 70s and 80s while repeating various themes […] The chase scenes have potential cult appeal, but there’s little interest in the killer’s psychology.” Deadline

” …has its moments of macabre and melodramatic invention – there’s a genuinely unsettling opening sequence […] But a lot of the time it is bizarre in the wrong ways, with clunkingly absurd plot transitions, sudden B-picture-type money-saving closeups on the mangled, bloodstained faces of people who’ve supposedly just been stabbed or hit…” 2/5 The Guardian

Dark Glasses is never all that scary, and some of it is just plain silly, but if you take it at face value it can be enjoyable enough to sit through — more of a reminder of what Argento used to do best than an example in its own right. He’s always been a master at creating dark urban moods, and here he ominously captures a vacant Rome in partial ruins, lying in wait for another body to drop.” The Hollywood Reporter

” …in replacing the more baroque orchestrations of Argento’s earlier work with something more frontal and direct, this particular ride never reaches the same heights, never gets the blood flowing in quite the same way. That this older Argento has perhaps neither the time nor inclination for the Grand Guignol set pieces of his halcyon days should come as with little surprise; though his fire stills burns and taste for blood runs strong…” IndieWire

” …the film is sorely lacking in any of Argento’s characteristic style or even his ultra-violent set-pieces (aside from the one at the start). Even the cinematographic palette he is using lacks any of the vivid contrasts of colour that marked his works between the 1970s and 80s, making this just a regular thriller shot by standard camerawork.” 2 out of 5, Moria

“It sets itself up as a classic Giallo – right down to the title – and then throws any sense of mystery away because it can’t wait to pointlessly reveal who the uninteresting killer is; it also seems to riff on Friday the 13th-era horrors by making him seemingly indestructible for no good reason. For long chunks of the narrative, it seems as though the film has forgotten that it is a horror movie at all, wallowing in half-baked sentimentality…” The Reprobate

“A by-the-book woman-in-peril chiller – with a kid in peril added to up the ante – the director’s first film since 2012’s Dracula 3D has a few moments of flamboyant style, but these are surface trimmings on a preposterous, creakily old-school number […] while fans will no doubt be glad to see him back, they may be dismayed by the lack of imagination on display here.” Screen Daily

“In this film’s marvelous opening scene, the auteur finds in eclipses a symbol for the kind of dangerous spectacle that he’s been arranging for decades. But after this brilliantly constructed series of images, Dark Glasses gives the impression only of a Giallo doodle.” 1.5/ Slant

“Everything that might attract Argento’s rabid core of fans is briskly announced upfront: the film does have the sinuously elegant camerawork that’s his trademark, along with a score that ping-pongs between spacey ambience and thrusting palpitations […] The stunt shot for Diana’s near-fatal collision at a crossroads is nothing if not technically outstanding […] the pacing gets feeble, dawdling through the aftermath.” 2/5 The Telegraph

“While playing with the horror of the unseen, the production doesn’t have the pervasive thrill of films like Wait Until Dark. The tension abates somewhat as the adventures the characters experience on their flight touch upon the fanciful. Derivative of some of his previous work, Dark Glasses is not an Argento masterpiece […] Instead, it is an enjoyable flick…” The Upcoming

“There’s a lot to like here, even if it often feels like there’d be even more to like had Argento seen fit to dial it back a little […] There are a few reprieves from the violence, however. The scenes in which Diana first adjusts to a sightless life — something she does with the help of an aide played by Asia Argento — are among the film’s best…” Variety

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