Dark Glasses is a contemporary giallo from legendary Italian filmmaker Dario Argento. Approaching this movie as someone who is unfamiliar with Argento’s work and giallos in general, I was excited and nervous about what Dark Glasses would have in store (similar to my anticipation prior to David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future).
A serial killer targeting female sex workers leaves their latest victim, Diana (Ilenia Pastorelli), in critical condition. Diana’s vehicle is rammed from behind, taking out another family, and leaving her with persisting blindness after the accident. She eventually pairs back up with Chin (Xinyu Zhang), the child who survived his family’s crash, as they find themselves thinking of ways to stay hidden. Diana, feeling a degree of guilt and paranoia, doesn’t want Chin to have an unlikely future or find herself within the same proximity as the killer.
Accompanied by an amazing score that alternates between synthesized catchiness and distorted unease, Argento builds an interesting story around Diana and Chin. While Dark Glasses isn’t inherently a horror, I imagine it can still be a scary movie for people who can relate to Diana. As a woman, a sex worker, and someone who is suffering from a disability, Diana isn’t taken seriously. In terms of the crime angle involving someone stalking Diana, she’s frequently taken advantage of. It’s discouraging to be in the company of someone in a helpless state, let alone immediate danger. Even if you don’t relate to the marginalized character, Argento (without resorting to gimmicky camerawork) makes the viewer feel like they’re in the same vulnerable position as Diana.
While the cat-and-mouse aspects of the story can feel like the movie is circling the same laps, Dark Glasses is compelling nevertheless. It’s gruesome and tense, and riled up my curiosity to finally check out Dario Argento’s filmography.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie