Bloody Disgusting recently ran an English-language synopsis of Dario Argento’s upcoming Giallo, which we’ve mostly known as an explicit self-homage to the director’s early career starring not Ray Liotta and Vincent Gallo but Adrien Brody. The story is about an American woman (Emmanuelle Seigner) who is under the impression her fashion model sister (Elsa Pataky) has been kidnapped in Torino. She teams up with an unconventional detective, Inspector Enzo Lavia (Brody), who fears the girl is a victim of a killer known as Yello.
The full synopsis is below; I’m sure it should be considered full of semi-spoilers, but who really cares about the basic story structure of an Argento film? Read a synopsis for Suspiria or Tenebrae and it doesn’t sound like much at all. The films are carried entirely on Argento’s ability to transmute the most basic story elements into awful, unsettling image parades. So I read the below and I become more than a little disinterested in the film until I remember that all Argento has to do* is be on point one more time and it might all work out.
* Had to do, really, since the film finsihed shooting two months ago and should be well on it’s way through the post process now.
YELLOW chooses his victims based on their beauty, because he himself is not beautiful. Scorned and rejected in the orphanage where he was raised as a child, he now hunts beautiful women to torture and to kill.
He keeps them alive, mentally and physically abusing them, until he grows bored. Then, he kills them and discards their body. He’s efficient, and always has his next victim ready to torture. And he’s clever, only going after tourists, women who won’t find an advocate in the police department.
His latest victim is an Asian exchange student. After her, he has CELINE (Elsa Pataky), a gorgeous fashion model.
LINDA (Emmanuelle Seigner) is a smart, attractive flight attendant, in Torino to spend time with Celine, her sister. When Celine doesn’t arrive for their planned meeting, she takes her concern to the local police. But they don’t want to be bothered with her, sending her instead to the basement to deal with INSPECTOR ENZO LAVIA (Adrien Brody), an eccentric detective who doesn’t fit in with the department. The details of the case remind him of a strange killer he’s been hunting. Yellow.
They team up to find her, their quest aided by the tragic death of the Asian foreign exchange student. Enzo has some pretty wild theories about the killer, theories that are correct. One of these theories leads him to believe that Celine is next. Yellow tortures Celine, but finds that she’s tougher than many of his victims. She fights back. As the detective and Linda close in, Celine is running out of time.
Enzo deduces that the killer must have hepatitis, and they go to a hospital that treats the disease. As they try to get the doctor to release confidential information, Enzo realizes that Yellow is in the hospital! A chase ensues, but Yellow gets away.
But now he’s seen Linda, and he knows that to keep feeding his lust for blood, he must kill her as well. Both sisters are in jeopardy, and the clock is ticking.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey