Diana, a young woman who lost her sight, finds a guide in a Chinese boy named Chin. Together they will track down a dangerous killer through the darkness of Italy.

Editing: Flora Volpelière
Arnaud Rebotini

Cast: Ilenia Pastorelli, Asia Argento, Andrea Zhang, Andrea Gherpelli, Mario Pirrello, Maria Rosaria Russo, Gennaro Iaccarino

Directors: Dario Argento
Writers: Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini
Cinematography: Matteo Cocco

Horror legend Dario Argento returns to his roots with the modern-Giulio Dark Glasses. It’s a film that comes up short in most regards, but for fans of the genre and the director should be a good afternoon watch.  

After a brief and odd set-up where we’re introduced to Ilenia Pastorelli as Diana while she stops driving to watch the eclipse along with everyone else, we’re onto a bloody murder. The switch between appreciation for such a wild event of our world as an eclipse to a bloody-gurgling throat splitting was almost whiplash-inducing, but maybe that was the point. We have a killer and some detectives, and Diana is the next target. 

The first woman killed was a sex worker, and as Diana is also in the profession, it would seem the killer is targeting a particular type of woman. The killer chases Diana down in an early scene in the film, not on foot, but in a van, eventually ramming into her and sending her flying over the top of another car, crushing the faces of the two adults in the front seats. Diana awakes in a hospital, not unscathed either, as she has lost her eyesight (somehow) from the injury and the mix of looking directly at the sun/eclipse, I presumed. 

The next half of the film slows the pace right down as Diana learns to continue working and doing everything else in her life without her eyesight. Helping her on that journey is Rita, played by Asia Argento, who is a warm character and standout in the film. Rita helps Diana by getting her a guide dog, teaching her how to use a cane and other things to help her in her day-to-day activities. 

Diana also learns that a young boy named Chin was the sole survivor of the car she crashed into and seeks him out at a children’s home. He’s at first very aggressive towards her, blaming Diana for his parent’s deaths, before following her home after she sticks up for him against some bullies. Andrea Zhang gives a sweet performance as the young boy seeking a loving parental figure, and this relationship between Chin and Diana becomes the heart of the film. Before long, however, the killer is back for Diana, and she and Chin are on the run again for the film’s final act. 

Ilenia Pastorelli gives a fine performance making Diana look strong, but there’s not enough to the character who spends the last act of the film just screaming for Chin to help her. The pacing also goes off the rails, and one scene with sea snakes comes so out of the left field and is forgotten moments later that I’m still confused about why it’s in the film. 

I haven’t even mentioned the blaring original music by BPM composer Arnaud Rebotini which altogether adds another layer of intense randomness to the film. There’s just a lot going on here, and yet somehow not. It’s a simple film for the genre, trying several new things, but it’s mostly a safe bet for Argento. Fans should enjoy it once and forget about it pretty quickly.