Non Ho Sonno

[a.k.a. Sleepless]
Dir: Dario Argento
Starring: Max Von Sydow, Stefano Dionisi, Chiara Caselli, Gabrielle Lavia

For Dario Argento's work truly to be effective, you need some justification for belief suspension, since it only really works in the realm of the gut instinct. While no director is better at generating pure atmosphere, his movies rarely stand up well to the cold light of logical analysis, and this one is a prime example. It starts off like an express train - and indeed, on an express train - with a fabulous set-piece that'll bring you back to the glory days of Suspiria. That earlier work, however, sustained its nightmarish, "what-the-hell-is-going-on?" tone throughout, while this one gradually degenerates into a plodding serial-killer thriller, with a climax even more ludicrous than Hannibal. Max Von Sydow brings much-needed gravitas to the proceedings, as a retired detective who investigates when a previous case comes back from the grave, but departs in the second half, and no-one else in the cast is anything like up to the job. Sergio Stivaletti's effects are pretty good in the main, and some of the violence is spectacular, as you'd expect. However, you never really care about the victims, who largely exist purely to be killed, and so there's little impact beyond the visceral. No matter how nicely shot, "Non sen se" is probably closer to the mark.


Virgin train employees try
out their new uniform
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