The pervasive wrongness and pointed misuse of “textbook” filmmaking styles in this film make its unsettling nature so eerie, lasting, and incredible to enjoy and experience. The neon fluorescence of the palette should be out-of-place in a horror, the first death scene is harrowing, and harrowingly early in the film, along with being suitably extreme. The sound mixing twists serene and hypnotic melodies into sharp and piercing soundtracks for dialogue built on double meaning and knowledge that the mere observer is refused. It’s like we’re not in the joke, and the longer the awkward tension builds, the more we’re not sure whether to laugh or be appalled. The scenes are played so that the viewer is restricted to observing at a distance, powerlessly swept through the film by Argento’s fluid and sweeping viewpoint camerawork.
Written by Peter deGraft-Johnson, Editor