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ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK (1972)

aka Demons of the Dead, Tutti i colori del buio
Article 2981 by Dave Sindelar 
Viewing Date: 7-6-2009
Posting Date: 10-11-2009
Directed by Sergio Martino
Featuring George Hilton, Edwige Fenech, Ivan Rassimov
Country: Italy / Spain

After she loses her child in a car accident, a woman finds herself being stalked by a blue-eyed man. Is it just her imagination brought on by the trauma, or is she in real danger? Will a psychiatrist be able to help her, or will taking part in a ritual with a Satanic cult help her?

If there's anything this movie made me realize, it's that I really loathe movies in which a troubled woman spends practically the whole movie on the verge of a nervous breakdown because she is being continually terrorized. This is especially true when the movie never bothers to establish her as a real three-dimensional character; she's just someone to be terrorized, and that's all the movie is interested in doing. I know these movies are supposed to be really scary, but I don't end up scared - I end up annoyed, and the fact that this Italian giallo is chock-full of bizarre stylistic touches, surreal dream sequences, and "is it real or a dream" themes doesn't alleviate my annoyance; if anything, it just makes me aware that the director is pulling the manipulative strings. Granted, movies are a manipulative medium, but the best movies are ones that make you want to be manipulated, and this one doesn't do that for me. At least the ending is good, though it really doesn't hold up to close inspection when considering the movie as a whole. Nevertheless, I do feel the need to point out that my reaction to this movie may be based on a personal quirk. If you don't share that quirk, and are fond of giallos, this one may be for you; it is supposed to be one of Sergio Martino's better movies. Use your own discretion on this one.

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