Directed by Dario Argento
During her first night at boarding school, Jennifer (Jennifer Connelly) witnesses a horrible murder while sleepwalking. After digging deeper into the crime, Jennifer meets a professor (Donald Pleasence, HALLOWEEN) who uncovers her psychic connection to insects, and encourages her to use her strange gift to catch the killer. Dario Argento’s sci-fi spin on his iconic giallo style has divided fans since its’ release but for us, its squirmy pleasures have only deepened. Beyond the bugs, maggots and monkeys, it’s a creepy-crawly must-see, especially for Connelly’s fearless performance.
A girl with a psychic connection to insects must use her gift to catch a killer.
Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Daria Nicolodi
This is a bonkers little movie! The elevator pitch alone is worth the price of admissions: Jennifer Connelly plays a psychic girl that has a bond with insects who teams up with a entomologist (played by Donald Pleasence) and his knife-finding chimp sidekick to solve murders?!! Take my money please!! This one may be a little slow for some audiences, but if you're a fan of old school italian horror of the 70's/80's, you HAVE to see this one!
A year prior to co-starring with David Bowie in The Labyrinth, a 14yr old Jennifer Connelly delivers quite a dynamic and well executed character in Phenomena, as Jennifer Corvino. Her character’s father, Mr. Corvino is a famous actor, but while he’s away filming movies, young Jennifer gets shipped off to a Swiss boarding school. With no mention of a mother, I love how the movie follows Jennifer as she sets out on a solo-ish sleuthing mission with a unique skill that will help her find a mysterious killer. Though there is a murderer on the loose that doesn’t stop Jennifer from bumping into a few interesting characters along the way. One of which is an old forensic scientist (who’s best friend is a chimp). It only gets more bizarre from their folks! Unlike Argento’s other films, this one passes the Bechdel Test, and crosses even further into a multi-genre bending film. The type Argento may be most famous for, but in Phenomena the cadence is like supernatural slasher math metal. The film features Argento’s staples, music from Goblin and classic slasher scenes where Dario’s kills off a character his daughter plays. This movie also has an iconic slow motion kill scene with ear piercing but 100% memorable sound design. What’s most amazing about this movie can’t be spoiled but expect the unexpected and enjoy the ride! It’s not a perfect piece of work but it will provide a permanent sensation, like the haunted winds of the Swiss alps.
It's an Argento movie, and it shows. Has some intense moments that seem to come out of nowhere. The scene with the chimpanzee and the scalpel made the movie worth watching, if you ask me. Also, Iron Maiden and Motorhead on the soundtrack.
To act as well as she did in an Argento movie is impressive on Jennifer Connelly's part. Pretty good if you are into magic happenings over surreal happenings.