Trauma (1993)


Produced & Directed by: Dario Argento

Written by: Dario Argento & T.E.D. Klein

Story by:
Franco Ferrini & Gianni Romoli


Christopher Rydell .... David Parsons
Asia Argento .... Aura Petrescu
Frederic Forest .... Dr. Judd
Laura Johnson .... Grace Harrington
Piper Laurie .... Bailey
Ira Belgrade .... Arnie
James Russo .... Capt. Travis

Special Appearance:

Brad Dourif .... Dr. Lloyd

Release Dates: Limited Theatrical: March 12, 1993 (Italy); Festival of Festivals: September, 1993 (Canada); Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival: March 1, 2009 (Japan)




A young man named David Parsons (Christopher Rydell) rescues a troubled italian girl named Aura Petrescu (Asia Argento) from jumping off a bridge and then later on is sent back to her home in which she witnesses her parents being killed by a maniac who uses an object with a sharp wire to behead their victims.
David tries to help her out by tracking down this killer but wherever they go they encounter these bizarre killings and must put a stop to this before they are next.


The flick at first looks quite impressive when it shows a chiropractor talking to a mysterious person taking something out of his leather bag and not revealing himself in which this was a nice drawing card that he was going to do something deadly leaving the film off to a nice start.
But then the writing gets a little unorganised when we spot a person named David Parsons spotting someone named Aura Petrescu about to jump off a bridge as the wiriting here seemed cheesy and quite rushed in which you can tell Dario Argento didn't take his time with this scene at all. I had a bad feeling that the film would seem a bit corny while watching this moment.
Yet the moment seems mysterious when the police drag her away to take her back to her family as well as her father locking her in a room while they have guests over to do a fake ceremony to talk to the dead in which the story seemed to pick up making this scene look very amusing as well as spotting Aura's mother running out and then spotting the mysterious killer doing a nasty deed which looked good and dark.
However it got corny again when we spot a nosey little kid spotting something at a house next door in which the reactions to all this seemed uninspired big time. Plus there's a moment when he is spotting on catching butterflies in which seemed to almost look cute but this fails too and it's even cornier when a gecko from next door eats the butterfly. There's even a moment when this child enters the home and then tries to find a way to get out as the killer is about to enter the home in which this moment was supposed to look suspenseful but this even fails due to the cheesiness while watching all of this.
We spot a moment with a shrink named Dr. Judd talking towards Aura as well as forcing pills into her which looked somewhat twisted as well as spotting strange ghostly type of artsy hallucinations as some of this seemed to seem a little strange as well as the intensity surrounding her as this tried to look effective but yet it's a little bit stale.
There's even nightmare sequences Aura is having as this tries to tie into the story too as the settings looked dark blending in well here.
Plus the story seemed to look mysterious when both David and Aura search for some missing clues in the house where Aura's family lived in which some of the moments seemed to look haunting like and effective on what went on there.
We spot Aura in a hospital when a nurse tries to sedate her to go to sleep as well as some fast camera shots panning in for this killer to do their biddings as well as dragging the corpses. Plus we spot David trying to rescue Aura in the hospital with the madness going on in the hallways with mental patients which looked a little too ridiculous and over the top too. We've seen these moments before in a slasher film.
Later on in the plotline we spot a woman noticing a paper she's written is gone and then the killer does her in which seemed to look quite amusing for anyone who likes these mysterious slashing moments.
Plus we even see David discover a decapitated head choking out the words of a suspected killer and I was thinking to myself "Oh god! There's no way someone is slowly dying after their head is chopped off!!!" This was as dumb as it gets folks.
Yet there's a unique murder with a disturbed person who's head is chopped off and falls down in a corridor of an elevator since this moment was memorable to anyone who saw this. What is conry like the previous killing is that he is still screaming when his head is already chopped off.
What saves the film from bombing is when David discovers a note from Aura in his cabin that she returned to see her mother which makes the moments very mysterious as he goes rushing in the lake calling for her along with moments on the police discovering some decapitated heads in the wooded area nearby. This totally had a dark Friday the 13th type of feel to all of this.
Things seem to end up more strange and complicated when we spot David as a basket case like he was a prime suspect and acting a little strange about stuff which doesn't explain itself too well.
But then it gets entertaining again but just slightly when David is in a room with Aura and there's a shocking surprise by who we spot in which the story explians a situation with Aura's mother from near the beginning of the movie which looked well done and the madness surrounding this. But again this saves the movie earning a one bat instead of bombing it.
Bottom line is Dario Argento tried to make a film in the USA instead of his area on Italy trying to use the similar chemistry with Italian characters but this film really fails since we've seen his better work in his earlier days. This one just didn;t cut it as it tried too hard to be something that it wasn't at all.

The acting is not too badly performed in which we have lead actor Christopher Rydell (David Parsons) as the all round nice guy next door type in which he seems to try and pull off as much of a sympathetic type as possible into what he does here and is not too bad while doing all of this. He shows off some interesting characteristics as well as a decent amount of energy while doing this as well as showing some interesting insane moments too. He shows nice blocking and energy when he is running or doing other suspenseful things in his character and rolling with the punches. However he's a bit stale in certain spots of the film too.
Asia Argento (Aura Petrescu) was an italian actress which she seemed to pull off a great disturbed attitude with a high intensity into her part of the film. Sometimes though she is over the top but makes up for it in other scene's of the film, She was also good by acting like a basket case too along with showing nice crazed expressions making her role a convincing suspect in the flick.
Frederic Forest (Dr. Judd) showed a great eccentric type to his part in which he draws alot of good mysterious moments into what he does in his performance by acting outrageous as well as having a good aggressive type of appeal to his role. He certainly came across nicely as someone who could be a suspect to the killings. He was a true character actor indeed.
Laura Johnson (Grace Harrington) shows off a nice stuck up type of behavior and comes across nicely by doing this plus had the beautiful looks into her role which was a nice plus to the film here. She wasn't in alot of scene's but still came across strongly by what she did and making her supporting role worth spotting here.
Piper Laurie (Bailey) was by far the best out of the whole cast in which I always enjoyed her work with everything that I saw her in. She seemed to only have a cameo in it but appears near the end of the film and had a good amount of time with her supporting role. She comes across greatly by behaving a little weird and mysterious as well as showing a good crazy type of behavior too in which her performance reminds me very much on her work in Carrie since it seemed very similar in this one proving that she can still have what it takes to seem intimidating. She also had a great italian accent here and it didn't sound phony at all making you think that she is from there.
Ira Belgrade
(Arnie) as a typical mischievieous little kid didn't appeal to me as you can tell he really tried to get into character but yet I find he fails in order to do so. I found that he needed to take some acting lessons since he seemed fairly wooden in his performance here. He wasn't over the top terrible but needed a bit of guidance into what he did here.
Brad Dourif (Dr. Lloyd) had a small role in this one but yet showed a perfect intense type of energy into what he did as he was worth mentioning here. I found that he knew on how to be a suspect as well as acting really disturbed and crazy in which he does this all perfectly here and a different role than his other demented character from Child's Play. Two thumbs up for this dude.

Asia Argento takes off her top before going into a shower full breasts revealed.
Laura Johnson is fully breasted while fornicating in a scene.

Numerous heads are cut off by a wire type gadget and it is quite graphic

Alot of great strong classical composing done by Pino Donaggio in which there's great smooth longind sad old fashioned violin playing for the real mysterious moments that was used in the flick. Plus there's some nice piano playing too. Plus what really sounded effective for the suspenseful and adventureous scene's was low trombone playing with some screeching violin and trumpet playing as this sounds alot like what we would hear in a Friday the 13th sequel. Actually it sounds close to being indentical which totally works in well for the awful story trying to make these moments look good.

There's a nice songtrack towards a sad moment when the character David tries to look for Aura in the lake as the vocalising by the female has a nice chanting sound to it with a nice long clear voice in which really works in well for the scene.