To say that Dario Argento's films have recurring motifs is an understatement.
Luckily, even if some of his films were packed full of moments we'd seen before, some were packed full of surprises (Phenomena) and some had enough little differences to make them worth checking out.
Deep Red is one of those.
The plot revolves around, of course, a mysterious, gloved serial killer. Some English pianist, played by David Hemmings, witnesses the criminal murder a psychic (don't ask) and from then on, he teams up with a reporter (kind of) and leads his own investigation. Along the way, more people are killed and weird, seemingly irrelevant, things are revealed. Hemmings' character starts to feel like he is being followed and taunted by the killer so the more he discovers, the closer he seems to get to being taken out himself. As a whodunit, Deep Red works quite well as it's one of those movies where you end up suspecting literally everybody and the truth is unexpected but not without earlier clues which suggest it. It's hard to say if it all adds up as repeat viewings are probably a must and the reveal isn't exactly all that shocking, it just kinda happens. Like I said though: it works.
But it's not all about the whodunit.
The death scenes are also good reasons to watch this movie. As ever, Argento delivers some creative and typically brutal ways for his characters to die and, as ever, many of them involve glass shattering. The little robot doll scene stands out particularly because it is not only truly unexpected but not exactly explained later on, which makes it ever-so-slightly random. Each death is memorable, unforgiving and well put together, partly thanks to some fun practical effects. The victims, this time, aren't all defenceless, conveniently busty ladies, which is kinda refreshing and we do actually even care for a couple of them. Deep Red is a good film, it's just a bit overrated. People go on about this film like it came up with the idea for soup but it's really not Argento's best. I think of it as a more polished and more interesting Tenebrae minus that cool window tracking shot scene. It's a solid whodunit with some technical flair but, I gotta say, it seriously lacks pig boys and evil monkeys.
Then again there is that robot boy...
Dario Argento's Deep Red offers enough clever twists and turns, enough goofy stuff, inventive camera work and funky, not always appropriate, Goblin tunes to make Deep Red an overall enjoyable watch and a must for Argento fans. Whether it's as amazing as many claim is arguable but I liked it ok. Just not as much as some of the director's other works.
(yes, that's the best pun I could come up with)