The Maestro of Giallo Dario Argento has returned – to the genre, he helped create – with Dark Glasses. Playing at Fantasia Film Festival 2022.
It’s been a decade since the horrible misstep that was Dario Argento’s Dracula 3D. Dark Glasses is a return to form. Brining co-screenwriter Franco Ferrini along with him was one of the more intelligent choices. The two collaborated on Argento’s last successful film The Card Player – and the work here shows. The film is tightly constructed and focused. Though one would think that a story of a Sex Worker, Diana (Illenia Pastorelli) who’s blinded in a car accident by a serial killer would be more salacious. Thankfully, Argento and Ferrini have a Sex Positive outlook as they do not focus on the sex work itself. In fact, Argento’s best scenes are not the kills but rather the scenes of Diana working with a Social Worker (played with earthy warmth by Asia Argento) to adjust to her new life.
The only minor quibble that one will have with the film is the kills themselves. Though they are minor complaints as there are some moments that just feel awkward. A fight between the killer and two men who are trying to help Diana. The snake den in the water. The moment in the dam. Feel like pieces of a whole section of horror designed to Argento’s strength are just not executed or edited for maximum impact. Though once the finale begins, Argento and composer Arnaud Rebotini find their rhythm and the film soars. Proving Argento’s panache for extended scenes of horror is still very much there.
All in all Argento fans should be excited to see the maestro’s return.