The Neighbor (La porta sul buio)

by on Jun.06, 2010, under Daily Review

One of the episodes from Dario Argento’s Door into Darkness series, directed by Luigi Cozzi is bound to offer excitement to the awaiting viewer, and is bound to be brilliant. Are my thoughts and anticipations correct? High praise from one of my good friends pointed me in this direction, and I’ve certainly not been let down. This is a great short film.

A young family move home, looking to settle down in a small apartment by the sea. Upon arrival, they find the place is run down and without electric. Their friend is helping them move, but won’t be arriving until the following morning with their possessions, so they decide to make the best of a bad situation, using battery powered TV and candles, they settle in for their first night. It’s not long before they notice water dripping from the room above, their new neighbour: They call around to say hi and offer help, but what they find is not what they expected.

This is engrossing stuff. It’s thrilling and captivating. Shot mainly handheld, Cozzi creates a feeling of intimacy which builds to claustrophobia and tension. There are some great techniques used too. Quick flashes edited into the frames, showing what is to come, like a brief warning to the viewer which creates a question, reinforcing the plot and allowing giallo at it’s finest.

The cast here are also exceptional, and it’s great to see a film of this standard with fresh eyes. Aldo Reggiani, Laura Belli and Mimmo Palmara all get top marks from me. Palmara is a brilliant villain. One scene has him pulling a lock off the door with his fingers. Stunning. Belli is outstanding as the main protagonist of the film, a strong female role, strikingly beautiful with it.


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