Halloween feature 50 days, 50 slays! Day 40 OPERA

Tantalising tonsil terror. That is how one critic reviewed OPERA from Dario Argento. Pulled from his hit and miss middle period (he is currently in his late, frankly awful period), it balances the joy of voyeurism that underpin Argento and his inspiration, Hitchcock’s work, with the ambiguous scripting of his earlier work. This leads to a selection of well crafted, visually splendid set pieces that underline all of the main reasons for his fans to flock to his movies.


Betty (Cristina Marsillach) is an understudy on the up. She has now taken the lead role in a new operatic production of Verdi’s Macbeth. This is usually a troubled production indeed but it seems this will test many stars limits. Now it could be the issue of jinx that surrounds it. Which Argento’s script and cast seem very weary of. It could also be the knife-wielding psycho who is bumping off the cast and forcing Betty to watch. Often by pinning her eyes wide open. Always by making her watch the murder in all its blood soaked glory.


Argento is famed and blamed for the desensitising effects of the brutality his films depict. Here his protagonist is being forced to consume without remorse or contrition. So as the killer brutally despatches her friends and colleagues with sadistic delight, the audience asks themselves and others, Does this corrupt me? Should I see this as horrific or cathartic? Which all underlines as well, when Giallo works best.


The elaborate and energetic set pieces. Slasher often have a series of them but Argento plugs into the genre with a eye to the deeper commentary. He had produced a few films that directly (or indirectly) commented on the genres excesses. Here it is potent and personal. After you finish the film, Aria of Fear will grant you access into the logics of the film and its many, many points.

Region: B/2

Languages: English and Italian

Subtitles: English

Special Features: 

  • Dual edition (DVD + Bluray) with slipcase
  • New 2k scan, restored and re-graded in consultation with director Dario Argento
  • New, improved English subtitles for the separate optional Italian audio


  • Aria of Fear : A brand new candid interview with director Dario Argento
  • Opera Backstage : A detailed, period documentary showing Argento making Opera (40 minutes)
  • Restoration featurette on the process from raw to scan to the re-graded, restored final vision




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