Well, it's Halloween, so what better to review but a film by the master of Italian horror himself?
Yes, I'm talking about Dario Argento, of course.
Armed with an army of flies, a gloriously inappropriate rock opera soundtrack and buckets of shattered glass and blood, Phenomena (also known as "Creepers") is certainly one of those must-watch silly horror flicks. Troll 2 gets all the love these days but Phenomena, though it's made somewhat more pertinently (visually at least), is a completely entertaining oddity that's well worth seeing for any fan of trashy/arty horror. A young Jennifer Connelly leads a mostly lost cast and actually does a decent job considering her lines are about as silly as they come. Donald Pleasence, however, doesn't seem too sure about why he's having to interact with an ape almost every scene he's in while spouting out convenient bags of quirky exposition. Everyone else is mostly rubbish and, as such, help provide tons of lols. From the idiotic students clearly there for the sole purpose of being random victims during the course of the film to the strangely strict/cruel boarding school staff, everyone has their moment to "shine" one way or another.
Then there's the bugs...
The whole film is based around the idea that Jennifer (Connelly's character, not a big stretch first name-wise) has the ability to communicate with insects, this makes for absurd moments like when a guy almost crashes his car because of ONE loose bee or kinda cool scenes where swarms of insects are either scaring the crap out of people or taking down a pigboy (yes, pigboy). Think Willard but with women and flies (and a pigboy). Funny thing is that, along with the whole insect plot, you get the usual Argento serial killer thread where people are being murdered by an unknown force throughout. Still not sure if both plots gel particularly well here but it works in its own wacky way regardless.
The third act is really the icing on the cake. It's worth watching Phenomena if only to get to the end and finally check out what it was all building up to. Is the ending a ridiculous mess of things that make no sense but are actually pretty darn hilarious/genius? Indeed it is! I won't spoil it for you but trust me: it's a good one.
I've said too much...
Phenomena is one of those films that will either drive you nuts or make your day. I, for one, enjoyed it from start to finish and I do wholeheartedly recommend it. I mean, it's a very silly flick so I don't advise you to take it too seriously but it looks good, the music, as randomly placed as it is, is awesome and there's loads of lols to appreciate.
A fun Argento outing that "ticks" all the right boxes.
A phenomenal Halloween romp, check it out ;)