The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)
Front Cover Actor
Asia Argento
Thomas Kretschmann
Marco Leonardi
Luigi Diberti
Movie Details
Genre Horror
Director Dario Argento
Language English
Audience Rating Unrated
Running Time 110 mins
Country USA
Color Color
Plot
The first half of Dario Argento's heady psycho-thriller is a mesmerizing merging of dream and reality. A beautiful young Italian detective (Asia Argento, who does little to convince us she's a tough, seasoned cop) investigating a serial rapist is suddenly overwhelmed when the paintings in an art museum erupt with life. According to the film, this is "the Stendhal Syndrome," an intense and overwhelming response to art that turns the viewer mad. As Anna steps in and out of fantasy worlds like Alice through the looking glass, she's kidnapped by her quarry, who repeatedly rapes and tortures her in a dark, dank underground cave. The delirious nightmare of shattered reality becomes a sadistic, mean-spirited spectacle of murder and degradation--perpetrated on, of all people, the director's own bound and beaten daughter!--and the thriller disintegrates into a paranoid mystery of amnesia, split psyches, and shadowy phantoms. At its best this is a mesmerizing vision of madness: paintings melt into the real world while objectivity disintegrates before our eyes. But before the unexpectedly sensitive conclusion, Argento puts the viewer through a bravura but brutal series of gory murders (a slow-motion bullet passes through both cheeks of a helpless victim, and another shooting is viewed from inside the body) and unsavory violence. The poetic beauty of Phenomenon and the craftsmanship of Suspiria and Deep Red are sorely missed. --Sean Axmaker
Personal Details
Seen It Yes
Index 65
In Collection Yes
Product Details
Format DVD
Region Region 1
UPC 790357998234
Release Date 2000
Audio Tracks Dolby Digital
Nr of Disks/Tapes 1
Extra Features
Color