Who says giallo had to stop in the 1970’s? Certainly not the makers of this film, who crafted this neon-lit exploration of the genre in 2012. This is the story of an old man obsessed with a serial killer who is also obsessed with him. Each murder, the killer calls him to say that he has killed for him again. Finally, he decides to go into the night and hunt down the murderer.
While this is a crowdfunded short film, it’s long on style and mood. It feels, looks and sounds exactly like a giallo should, with a killer that has a much more elaborate look than the typical black mask and gloves.
As the old man keeps looking for the killer — fulfilling the role of the amateur detective so essential to giallo — he remains one step behind throughout.
There’s also an intriguing commentary of the role of women in giallo as Hester Arden plays every single female role. Are women interchangeable? Or just victims to be moved around and endlessly repeated? I read that Argento wanted all of the women in Tenebre to look the same to give the sense that the same woman was dying over and over. This film accomplishes the same task.
There are no easy answers here, even in the ambiguous ending. I’ve heard that the creators of this film intend to make a full giallo film someday and I look forward to seeing what they do. This is a masterful effort that I’ve watched several times and look forward to coming back and exploring many more.
It’s pretty amazing that the most Italian giallo made in years was created by two British guys — director Ryan Haysom and cinematographer Jon Britt — working in Germany.