Stendhal Syndrome, The / La sindrome di Stendhal (1996)

3.5 out of 5

A detective, played by Asia Argento, searches for a serial rapist while at the same time coping with being one of his victims and dealing with suddenly being stricken by the titular syndrome - a disorder that causes confusion, dizziness, and hallucinations when the person who has it is around certain pieces of artwork. Stendhal Syndrome is a solid and effective psychological thriller with brief elements of horror thanks to the film's hallucination sequences. Despite it's lengthy two-hour runtime, Stendhal Syndrome is paced well and quite engaging. With the progression of the three acts, we see dramatic changes in Asia Argento's character, giving the film a new, fresh feeling with each change as the story moves along. Ennio Morricone's beautiful and haunting score, Asia Argento's very strong and emotional performance, and the general style of the film greatly elevate it from simply being an average story of a woman dealing with the effects of a traumatic experience. Overall, a decent film in the middle tier of director Dario Argento's work.

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