Mother of Tears
Dario Argento’s fans have held on to the hope that the man behind such genius works as The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) might suddenly reappear. This over-the-top thriller offers extended flashes, if not a full-blown homecoming, of the artist his long-suffering devotees know and love. For the rest of us, this is simply tasty supernatural goulash served with a side of Fangoria pictorials. Argento conjures up such hyperventilating, high-pitched delirium that it’s tempting to forgive the dialogue (“Hey, dere’s sumpin’ down dere!”) and the fact that all the performers besides Dario’s daughter can’t act their way out of a sack with a map. But this is the man who gave us the classic Suspiria, and to treat this as anything other than the director’s return to watchability is disingenuous. That old Argento black magic, literally and figuratively, is still AWOL.
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