From reading the hype surrounding this film it had a lot to stand up to, with comments like "the search for the new Argento ends here" and "Watch out Argento director Eros Puglielli is after your crown" circulating I was in too minds to be honest. With the critical demise of Argento’s ‘American’ latest films (not the authors opinion) I thought that perhaps people we just getting eager to replace him, or, could they be right?
I will not hold you in suspense any longer, they have a good chance of being right. I am not going to offer comparisons between Puglielli and Argento because we don’t need a stand off, both directors deserve credit for their own achievements not against each others however, Eyes of Crystal is an exceptional example of Gialio in its purist form.
From the opening sequence the film oozes with style right though from its cinematography, to locations, down to the choice of score. Right through the film it is all of these elements which draw you in; I literally could not pull myself away throughout the 2 hour story. The locations and score featured throughout show similar class and sophistication to the locations as Hannibal’s Italy so that those in themselves are pleasing to watch. The acting too fits the bill and all the characters are likable and realistic.
The story, classic Gialio, tracks the investigation of police tracking a murderer who removes limbs of their victims replacing them with artificial ones leaving only cryptic clues for the police to track. Beautiful-violence is an excellent way of describing it, the murders, as with everything else, are done with such flare, sure they are brutal, bloody and torturous but when you watch them occur its like poetry in motion.
Immersing is probably the best way to sum up my opinions of this film, I was actually sad when the credits rolled, although I had to admit it had gotten my moneys worth. The film really grips you right from the shotgun mastectomy at the beginning to the eerie and sinister climax of the film you know you are watching something special. Better than Argento? Who cares? I’m more than happy to have two kings of the genre. 10/10.