Wednesday, January 27, 2010

THE PSYCHIC aka Sette Note In Nero

(Lucio Fulci, 1977)
It's a pity Fulci hadn't stuck to gialli - his contributions to the genre are some of the most memorable. Most agree that Don't Torture a Duckling was his giallo masterpiece, but this psychic thriller (a subgenre popular in the late 70's) could be a close second. It's one of Fulci's most linear, plot-driven movies, and its success owes as much to the story as it does the bright, soft-focus camerawork. His trademark gore is almost completely absent, however this can easily be overlooked in favor of the hallucinatory qualities of the film.
Oh yes, what it's all about...
Jennifer O'Neil plays Virginia, a woman who gets the occasional psychic vision. While driving through a tunnel one afternoon, she is overcome by one of her visions, and sees a murdered woman being walled up. It comes as quite a shock to her when, whilst redecorating her new husband's villa, she comes across the same room she saw in her trance. Before you know it, she's torn a hole in the wall, and there (of course) is the skeleton. Her husband is implicated in the murder, but Virginia knows better. With some help from her girlfriend and her therapist, she sets out to dedcipher the meanings of the cryptic images previously seen, and to clear her husband's name.
The film manages to stay interesting as the great photography, red-heavy color palette, and Fabio Frizzi score create an intriguingly semi-Gothic mood. The story moves at a sluggish pace at times, though, as too many of the flashbacks of the vision pop up at random. There is little blood, but enough to keep things spicy. Just don't let the "mannequin falling off a cliff" routine at beginning deter you! Or the disgustingly saccharine opening music. Blech! Yup, recommended.

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