Phenomena is an Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento. The plot sees a young American girl Jennifer (Jennifer Connelly), go to a Swiss boarding school to receive an education and be out of her parent’s hair. However, once she arrives she notices that she has a strange relationship with insects, and that said relationship might be the key to solving a string of murders that is happening on campus.
Why can’t Argento make a film that does not have a serial killer or group of serial killers (Suspiria) as the main antagonist? Yes, I know obviously he must have at some point in his career, but of the film’s I’ve watched it is certainly a repeated motif and one that is starting to get tiresome.
I enjoyed the more abstract ideas here; I wish we have dived deeper into Jennifer’s powers and how and why they came out. There is a wonderfully off kilter strangeness to the whole film that is very difficult to describe but it really sticks with you after the film.
I thought the slasher elements were probably the weakest part of the film, though I did enjoy the final fight scene. It reminded me very much of Mrs Voorhees in Friday The 13th I thought it was well done, tense and effective; the face melting scene stayed in my head for a while after the film, the power of practical effects.
Overall, a strange film in a lot of ways, however that strangeness makes it what it is. Good, but I do wish Argento would stop making films about serial killers.
The insect, mystical stuff
The killer stuff for the most part of boring
It had pacing issues and was far too long
Reviewed by Luke