Stars: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia, Macha Méril, Eros Pagni, Giuliana Calandra, Piero Mazzinghi, Glauco Mauri, Clara Calamai | Written by Dario Argento, Bernardino Zapponi | Directed by Dario Argento
If you were asked to recommend a good Giallo film, chances are you’d look to one of Dario Argento’s films as a good start. Arrow’s release of the 4k remaster of Deep Red is a new box set that is not only one of the best Giallos from the director, but also one of Arrow Video’s best releases in recent months.
When Marcus Daly (David Hemmings) witnesses the murder of one of his neighbours as he stands in the street below, he rushes to her aid. Unable to save the woman he looks for clues as to who the murderer is. The only thing he can remember is a painting that seems to be missing from the woman’s apartment. Does it hold the key to who the killer is?
Like Suspiria, Deep Red merges Giallo and the supernatural with ease, with the victim of the crime being a psychic who seemingly picks up on the thoughts of the killer who then attacks her. The investigation that comes from it is a detective story that not only looks to the past, but looks to solve the mystery that seems to have roots in a ghost story. The audience sees a different side to all of this as we are let into certain secrets about the killer, including the secret origins of the crimes.
This 4K restoration of Deep Red shows the film at its best, and shows it as the work of art it is. Not only from the way Argento frames his shots to show off the best of the Italian setting, but also the art style he uses. Some of the best and creepiest moments come from the power of the darkness that is used to hide the killer, the quality of the colours on-screen add to the effect. Especially with the scene where you see the killers eye suddenly open in the waiting darkness.
There are many moments in the film where you see the true beauty of Deep Red and it works as a reminder of how artistic films can be. This is a movie that was not only designed to scare you, but was made as a true work of art. In fact, I’d say along with Suspria this is one of the most beautiful examples of Argento’s work and may be one of his best Giallos. Watching Michael Mackenzie’s new visual essay Profondo Giallo included on the disc reveals a lot about what this film stands for in the history of Giallo, and it makes perfect sense. In many ways this could be called the ultimate Giallo film, in look and in design.
Two versions of the film are included in this release and while the International Theatrical Cut is a 4K restoration too and does look good, it is the Director’s Cut that truly shines. This is where the film is allowed to flow as Argento intended. There is a brash sense of extravagance to Deep Red in this cut, and for the gore fans a sadistic elegance to the violence we see. The international cut is a quicker paced movie that may tell the same tale, but doesn’t have the same impact and beauty of the true version of the film.
Along with the two versions of the film in this release there is the original Profondo Rosso soundtrack recording from Goblin and composer Giorgio Gaslini. This along with the commentary track and other special features just add to the quality of the release. Goblin are well-known for their soundtracks, and Deep Red is one of their most memorable so I’m sure fans will love this.
This new release of Deep Red is a limited edition, so expect this one to sell out quickly. As one of the first releases of 2016 if the other releases replicate the quality of this release then we are in for one hell of a year. If you ever wondered why Dario Argento is so loved by the horror community you only have to look at films like Deep Red to see exactly why.
Deep Red is available in the UK on Blu-ray from 25th January.