Giallo (2009)

2.5 out of 5

Adrien Brody practices onanism under an anagrammatic pseudonym of Byron Deidra while viewing corpses on his laptop and occasionally huffs moongas and whippets as a jaundiced and rubber faced Spinal Tap roadie wannabe in this shameless, if ultimately futile, attempt at repeating his success at the Oscars for his touching portrayal of ivory tickling Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist, this time under the direction of Dario Argento.

The film is little more than a pedestrian thriller with torture porn ambitions that despite nods in the direction of familiar Argento themes fails to reach the promise of the genre defining, if ever so derivative, nomenclature Giallo.

The subject of a payment related court case the film also exists as a crime against Dario Argento's far more stylized while equally viscerally violent masterworks of bloodletting from a period that must, to fans, seem like a light year away.

Clearly aimed at an audience to which Eli Roth has attempted to stake a claim, and despite featuring a familiar referential flourish or two, this is no Suspiria but more of a second rate Hostel clone albeit with even less scope for charges of delusions of earnest beard stroking post ironic philosophical garbage concerning the sensitization to violence in the age of sensation seeking rolling news than could arguably be levelled at Roth's plotless gothmagnet meanderings.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics