The master of giallo, Dario Argento, returns to the big screen 10 years after his last directorial work with Occhiali Neri (Dark Glasses), which stars Ilenia Pastorelli as an Italian escort who is attacked by a serial killer who only targets working girls. Narrowly escaping the sharp end of a razor blade, she ends up blinded and stalked. Promising on paper and much less so on screen, this is not the return-to-form many would have hoped for. Unlike seminal giallo entries in Argento’s filmography, Dark Glasses is singularly lacking The Bird With The Crystal Plumage’s eerie suspense or even Opera’s enticing sadism. His latest comes off as a low-effort throwback that is never not entertaining, especially thanks to Arnaud Rebotini’s retro electro score. However, the misfiring third act completely sinks it with ineffectual set pieces and an ending beat which gifts audiences the most laugh-out-loud-stupid line of dialogue they’ll hear all year. Titillating as it is to have Argento back in the director’s chair and embracing the genre he defined, Dark Glasses is a comeback that only serves to remind you how brilliant he once was.
- Occhiali Neri (Dark Glasses)Starts: Jun 16. D: Dario Argento (Italy, 2022), with Ilenia Pastorelli, Asia Argento. ★ ★