Opera ★★★½

This film’s protracted opening section is all done from an operatic diva’s POV and its typically audacious stuff. Bravo, Signor Argento, Bello, Bello! The film continues in a most promising fashion, with prowling camerawork that engenders tension and a sense of foreboding.

Although Opera never quite lives up to its early promise, it’s rarely less than entertaining, despite the ‘style’ side of the director’s proclivities more fully enveloping the ‘substance’ aspect (if you’re looking for an even remotely logical screenplay, look elsewhere.)

And whereas the music in Phenomena is skewed rather arbitrarily towards heavy metal, its use here is more focused, occurring only during the kill sequences. Elsewhere, the use of classical arias adds to the film’s lush good looks and, well, operatic grandeur. However, this is the first of Argento’s films, I feel, in which there’s a patina of blandness setting in. I’m not sure if this is to do with a change of cinematographer (Ronnie Taylor), the type of cameras that are being used, the grading or whatever but it’s also reflected in the rather flavourless synth scoring.

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