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Phenomena (Special Edition) back to product details

Insecticide
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written by talltale August 20, 2004 - 8:00 AM PDT
1 out of 3 members found this review helpful
PHENOMENA is more fun than not. Also, because it was made 20 years ago, one's tolerance level is higher for its unbelievable aspects (and there are many more of these than of the believable sort). Dario Argento always comes through with florid ways to "off" his characters, and he does it here with his usual style. This time he throws a chimpanzee and a multitude of insects into the stew--which he simmers well before bringing to the boil (and over). Then there's the added pleasure of seeing the very young Jennifer Connelly (14, yet!) looking scrumptious and doing a nice acting job, and the very old Donald Pleasance, also doing his usual, capable rendition of the kindly and kind-of-nutty scientist. If you're a horror/slasher fan, you won't to miss this one, since it was only released theatrically in the US in a bowdlerized version called "Creepers."

I don't think you've seen Jennifer Connelly like this before
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written by MrBunBun January 20, 2004 - 7:22 AM PST
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful
So okay, I watched this movie 3 times between the age of 12 and 16 because of what a cutie Jennifer Connelly was. Hey, baby dykes gotta have celebrity crushes, too.

Actually, Jennifer Connelly wasn't a celebrity then and I didn't realize that the teenaged actress was her until recently. I didn't even know Phenomena was a Dario Argento film until recently either -- and it made so much sense.

I'm a fan of Italian horror now but as a kid when I first saw this film I just really liked it because it had such a unique feel to it. It was kind of bizarre, not a mainstream horror film at all and the whole English school girl/gothic modern European feel just made it really stand out to me in the vein of horror.

There's a low level of *grossness* or wrongness to the film, compounded by its unintentionally dated kitschiness.

I think at one point either Jennifer Connelly or "a villain" falls into an open cess pool or something (I have no idea what that was supposed to be or why it was there, but it's NASTY). She also vomits up some pills and it looks likes she's really vomiting -- i.e. it's *clear* like it would be if you just had a glass of water on an emtpy stomach. GROSS. And there's this *thing* running around, you know one of those animal-like homicidal "things" so it's a true monster flick.

The ending is over the top -- who the hell uses a whole sheet of aluminum siding to try to kill someone?

And yet, here's this innocent, classically beautiful arisotcratic English schoolgirl in the middle of it all. The juxtaposition is meant to be compelling because of/in spite of being a bit unsettling.

Not the most original horror ploy, but done to good effect. I think this is an underhyped movie that is worthy of a look if you are a fan of off-the-beaten-path horror.

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(Average 6.79)
158 Votes
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