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From master of horror Dario Argento comes Phenomena – one of his most eccentric and unique thrillers, featuring telepathic insects, maggots galore, and even a razorwielding chimp! Jennifer Corvino (Jennifer Connelly), daughter of a worldrenowned movie star, arrives in the socalled “Swiss Transylvania” to attend an exclusive girls’ school. However, a vicious killer is targeting the pupils, and sleepwalker Jennifer finds herself in the assassin’s headlights when her nocturnal wanderings cause her to witness the death of a fellow pupil. Aided by paraplegic entomologist John McGregor (Donald Pleasence) and her own uncanny ability to communicate telepathically with insects, Jennifer sets out to track down the killer before she herself becomes the latest victim… (Arrow Films)


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English Monty Python presents: Phenomena – Revenge of the Chimp… Wait, it wasn’t a parody? I'm amazed what kind of horrible nonsense the diehard Argento fans are willing to put up with. Exactly as Fulci said: Argento is a skilled director of eye-popping scenes, but a terrible screenwriter. All that was missing was that the killer was the chimpanzee, and actually, in the context of the events in the film, I wouldn't be surprised. After all, his entrance with a razor at the very end was the cherry on top. ()


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English If you’re willing to accept that the female lead can communicate with insects that help her go after a dangerous killer, you will have fulfilled the main condition to enjoy this film. Another condition is high tolerance for bad acting (Jennifer and the Professor are OK, the rest are KO) – some of the stuff those actors have to say reaches almost parody levels. The atmosphere is decent overall – the Alps do their job – but it’s such a shame that about half of the potentially scary scenes are ruined by music that is terrible for horror, the choice of which I really can’t understand. The last half hour, when things finally get going a little, improves the otherwise mixed feelings. It’s one of those films that I believe warrants a remake. ()



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English Phenomena is less bloody than Argento’s other films and focuses more on the story and atmosphere than on the visual aspect, which is a big plus. Jennifer Connelly and Donald Pleasence are superbly cast and the hypnotic insect mystery works wonders in combination with the psychedelic music and wonderfully isolated alpine setting. If it weren’t for a few minor shortcomings, this would be a genre gem! ()

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