Forbidden Room, The / Anima persa (1977)

4.5 out of 5

Anima persa has been described as both a giallo and a gothic horror but neither description is apt for, despite the film sharing characteristics with both, it charts it's own melodramatic course.

Featuring real European cinema heavyweights Vittorio Gassman and Catherine Deneuve the film is a real slow burner with a few nice twists and an underlying mystery with a Shuttered Room theme.

Direction is from Dino Risi and Once Upon a Time in America cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli gets the best from Venice locations.

While, given the nature of the work, the viewer will have to invest a degree of patient concentration in the feature the pay-off is decent enough and the conclusion, while much unexpected, will be likely to make the time spent worthwhile. That said, this will not be a film with univeral appeal. One-eyed fans of more action oriented cinema will not enjoy this one bit.

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