01 October 2014

Trauma (1993)
106 min.
Directed by Dario Argento.
With Asia Argento, Christopher Rydell, Piper Laurie, Frederic Forrest, Dominique Serrand, Ira Belgrade, Brad Dourif, James Russo, Laura Johnson, Hope Alexander-Willis.
Possibly the weakest of Argento's films, Trauma marks the beginning of a period of decline for the director.

In this Minneapolis-shot, humdrum horror flick, a woman named Aura (Asia Argento) escapes from a psychiatric institution and prepares to commit suicide.

She's saved by a well-intentioned stranger named David (Rydell) who takes her home to her kooky parents Adriana and Stefan (Laurie, Serrand).

She should have stayed in the loony bin.

Before she knows it, a psychotic killer has murdered her parents - and now the maniac appears to be after her. Can she and David figure out who the madman is before he takes them down?

Lacking the edge that made his early films great, Trauma sees Argento spinning his wheels, throwing in mismatched plot mechanics from previous gialli, and poisoning the whole mess with a cloying performance from daughter Asia.

Laurie's overblown performance is one reason to endure Trauma. But even that's no great reward.

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