Trauma (1993)

Some nightmares haunt you. Some can kill you.
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Trauma - Some Nightmares Haunt You. Some... Can Kill You.

Once again it is Dario Argento representing the Italian horror genre with Trauma. Many Argento fans consider this movie as the point in the horror masters career where his work started going down hill, whilst I understand that after such classics as Suspiria and Deep Red there were high expectations, I disagree that Trauma was outside of Dario Argento's career peak. I will admit that this movie shows a slightly different directing style for Argento, it was far less artsy than the majority of his movies preceding it but there was the trademark point-of-view camera shots, dramatic lighting (although not as prominent as in The Three Mothers movies) and slow, drawn out, torturous death scenes.

The plot revolves around an anorexic teenage girl, Aura Petrescu (played by Asia Argento), who escapes from her care hospital and is ready to end it all by jumping off a bridge. Luckily for her (or unluckily as the plot evolves) she is spotted making her suicide attempt by news artist David Parsons who stops her from jumping and takes her out for lunch (not the best kind of date for an anorexic).

Whilst back at her family home, Aura witnesses the death of her occultist parents in the middle of a séance at the hands of the Head Hunter serial killer. The Head Hunter killer is America's current media frenzy due to a number of murders where the victims have been decapitated and their heads taken away as trophies.

Once again David comes to the rescue of his troubled new friend and they decide to solve the mystery of the Head Hunter Killer. As the mystery unwinds the victims are not as random as they first appear and it turns out that they all worked at the same hospital at the same time. They finally track down their suspect who crashes his car attempting to escape and he dies as a result amongst the head collection he keeps in his trunk. David is devastated to find out that Aura has disappeared from the scene of the accident.

David decides that he must find Aura for her own safety and because the two had formed a relationship much closer than just friends. At this point the movie takes a dramatic twist and David enters the bizarre occult world of Aura's family and the motives for the serial killings are revealed.

This movie definitely holds its own in the world of Italian Horror with some brutal decapitations, mostly with a bizarre power tool which slowly pulls a wire tight around the victims neck, but sometimes with other tools such as elevators! There is the usual amount of bizarreness that we have come to expect from Argento, with the occasional talking bodiless head and, to be honest, the whole ending.

Definitely another classic Italian Horror movie from one of the genres top directors executed with the same terror, suspense, overacting and brutality that horror fans love.
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Categories: Italian Horror Movies

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