Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Deadly Premonition

Director: Lucio Fulci
Writers: Lucio Fulci, Roberto Gianviti, Dardano Sacchetti
Starring: Jennifer O'Neill, Gabriele Ferzetti, Marc Porel
1977 | Italy | Not Rated | 97 mins

Lucio Fulci is probably best known to horror fans for his extremely gory exercises such as City of the Living Dead and The Beyond, but prior to unleashing the floodgates Fulci contributed four entries into the wonderfully stylized Italian thriller genre known as the giallo. From Perversion Story to Lizard in a Woman's Skin to Don't Torture a Duckling, all regarded as classics of the genre, Fulci's last giallo before going into a blood frenzy was The Psychic (aka Seven Notes in Black).

A clairvoyant woman, Virginia Ducci (Jennifer O'Neill), has a chilling vision where she witness a women being walled up and murdered. After she recognizes the room from her vision in her husband's (Gianni Garko) old home she uncovers a skeleton hidden behind a layer of brick in the wall. Now Virginia is determined to uncover the mystery of who the woman was and who exactly put her there, but the deeper the mystery unravels the further Virginia's life is put into danger.

The Psychic showcases a side of Fulci not commonly associated with the Italian maestro - a quiet and refined side - wherein the suspense is thoughtfully plotted and quietly executed, and bookends his giallo outings. Normally those familiar with the director's work commonly refer to his crazy, mostly incoherent, and insanely violent films like Zombi 2 (which are horror classics in their own right) as their main impressions of his filmography. But Fulci should also be regarded as a master of suspense. The Psychic features a great performance from Jennifer O'Neill and some great Hitchcockian twists and turns that keep the viewer guessing.

Slow building suspense and foreboding danger play the main tune in this Fucli thriller. Even with a few flaws The Psychic, while not quite as strong as the previous efforts, such as the masterful Perversion Story, is still none-the-less a worthy and methodical giallo. Fulci fans and giallo fans alike should discover this lost Fulci gem and place it firmly in their collections.

All contents copyright 2010 Tyler Baptist

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