Director Spotlight: Dario Argento

The Godfather of the Giallo


It’s October 1st, and that means it’s time to kick off our 31 Nights of Thrills series! I could think of no better way to start the series than with a spotlight on a director whose films I absolutely love: Dario Argento. Argento is an Italian director that perfected the giallo film during the 70s-80s (he’s still working today, though his more recent work has been met with more tepid response). His films are frequently farfetched and slightly schlocky, but they’re also unique: when you go into an Argento film, you never quite know what to expect. We’ve highlighted eight of the director’s best films, and broken them down into three categories: “The Great”, “The Good”, and “The Passable”. If you’re as big of an Argento fan as I, all of the films are worth watching, but if you’re just dipping your toes into the Giallo pool, I suggest starting with his great entries. This is just our first entry for 31 Nights, so be sure to stop back every day of October to see what else we’re reviewing!

The Great:

1.   Suspiria (1977)- 

An American ballerina attends a prestigious ballet academy in Germany, only to realize something sinister is happening within its walls. 

2.   Deep Red (1975)-

After witnessing the murder of a psychic, composer Marcus Daly teams up with reporter Gianna Brezzi to investigate the crimes of a serial killer.

3.   Tenebre (1982)-

A writer arrives in Rome to publicize his new book, only to be stalked by a serial killer obsessed with his work.

Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria (1977)

The Good:

4.   Opera (1985)- 

A beautiful young opera understudy is stalked by a deranged fan.

5.   The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)-

An American writer living in Italy is witness to an attempted murder, and soon after is stalked by a serial killer. 

6.   Phenomena (1985)-

A young psychic with a connection to insects tries to solve a string of murders (starring a young Jennifer Connelly).

7. Cat o’ Nine Tails (1971)-

A reporter and a retired blind crossword puzzle writer collaborate to solve a slew of crimes. 

The Passable 

7.   Inferno (1980)- 

Two siblings stumble upon strange writings that might clue them in on a series of murders. 

8.   Two Evil Eyes (1990)-

Co-directed by George A Romero. Two short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, directed by Argento and Romero.  

Spotlight on Dario Argento by:

Seth Steele