Dark Glasses (Fantasia) Review

Last Updated on August 5, 2022

PLOT: Diana, a young woman who lost her sight, finds a guide in a Chinese boy named Chin. Together they will track down a dangerous killer through the darkness of Italy.

REVIEW: As a big Deep Red fan, it’s hard not to be extremely excited about Dario Argento‘s first film in nearly a decade. Then add to that, that he’s finally returning to the genre that he helped mold, and the excitement just cannot be contained. Because Dark Glasses isn’t just any movie, it’s a Dario Argento Giallo! But what that entails may vary depending on the viewer.

Dark Glasses is beautifully shot but from a story perspective, it’s fairly nonsensical. We follow Diana (Ilenia Pastorelli), a high-priced call girl in Italy who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. When she’s blinded in an attack, there’s certainly more for her to do, but I’m not sure it results in anything good. I’m sure playing blind is very difficult, but here it comes across very staged and unnatural. If anything I really appreciate Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdoch even more now. Despite her rather complicated personal life, it was still really nice to see Asia Argento pop up in a small supporting role. She helps Diana learn how to use her lack of sight to her advantage. She’s one of the better actors in the movie, and really gives life to scenes that would have otherwise bored.

One aspect I always really enjoy about any Argento Giallo is the sheer unrepentant nature of the killer. Their whole purpose in life seems to be to attack and kill, and here is no different. Once someone is in this killer’s sights, he does whatever he can to complete the job. But that also means all logic goes out the window. In this world, every kill is in this weird vacuum where the killer has a supernatural understanding of his surroundings. Plus, when their motivations are finally revealed, it was hard to not have my eyes fully roll into the back of my head.

Ilenia Pastorelli must deal with her new affliction in Dark Glasses (2022) screening at Fantasia Film Fest 2022.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone but the performances in Dark Glasses are pretty stiff. The actors seem to be thinking very hard about their lines and letting it be known every time they need to hit their mark. There’s one scene in particular with two detectives being attacked, that is so slow and boring, that you’re just left to question the characters’ absurdly dumb decision-making. Better blocking would have gone a long way.

There’s a scene with snakes attacking Diana that feels so misplaced in the grand scheme of the movie. It also isn’t referenced at any point after it takes place. Add to that the fact that the snakes are almost sentient and it makes their inclusion all the more baffling. Just like the guide dog that doesn’t seem to understand its job is to lead. Then there’s the entire third act, which is so underlit that it’s hard to make out what’s even happening. These are mistakes I would expect from a first-time filmmaker, but not someone who’s considered an all-time great.

The synthesized score is where the movie really shines. There were many times when I felt like I was watching one of Argento’s older classics like Deep Red or Suspiria. Though I would have absolutely been interested in hearing what the originally-attached Daft Punk would have done, I’m extremely impressed with Arnaud Rebotini. His score is absolutely the highlight of the film, and something I found myself wanting more and more of as it went on. It felt like classic Goblin-era Argento. Unfortunately, these moments are very few and far between.

I’m sure there are some Argento diehards who are going to absolutely love Dark Glasses. When the film gets real slashy, that’s when it’s at its absolute best. It was one of the few times that I felt like I was watching a master at work. But the rest of the time was a sheer disappointment.

Dark Glasses releases to SHUDDER THIS FALL.

Dario Argento

BELOW AVERAGE

5

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

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Tyler Nichols is a horror fanatic who resides in Michigan and is always on the hunt for the next great film. When not scouring the internet for movie news, he is usually off watching something dark, writing nonsensical musings, or playing in some fantastical video game world. While horror takes up most of his time, he still makes time for films of all types, with a certain affinity for the strange and unusual. He’s also an expert on all things Comic Book Cinema. In addition to reviews and interviews here on JoBlo.com, Tyler also helps with JoBlo Horror Originals where he’s constantly trying to convince viewers to give lesser-known horror films a chance.