• Warning: Spoilers
    Had the privilege to be invited to the Red Carpet's screening of a new Horror, the psychological thriller "Wrath of the Crows". Wasn't expecting anything like it, and, like others, i must state here, had seen a trailer i thought somewhat deceiving, without justice made to a film nevertheless pretty much anything, but, never an exploitative genre film, rather a dark drama, a psychological and visionary consideration, shot with splendid cinematography, always haunting and gripping, without ever resembling anything you'd see at the Grindhouse, or in another Horror films,think of Eli Roth, Rob Zombie, Uwe Boll or even down to the Asylum, or to Lloyd Kaufman, for example, who may be a very clever and humorous man, but, definitely, not a great seeker, nor a very open minded filmmaker, rather, just the mirror of an industry that's always been put at the fine borderline that lays in between Art and pornography, between products, either conceived by great directors, re-interpreting the Genre(think of Polanski in "Repulsion", "Rosemary's",etc., Kubrick with "The Shining", Friedkin, Bergman, Roeg, Bunuel, Ozu, Clayton, Frankenheimer, or more recently,others like Medem, Ozon, Adrian Lyne, Almodovar, Soderbergh and Von Trier, of course, with the strong "Antichrist"or Haneke in "Funny Games")or by "people", without many expectations or virtues, aside making the usual quick low budget's, cash in, shake, and, re-start all over again, with mostly forgettable results, ultimately, provoking what's happened to a whole Genre, which has been suffering, always like suspended in a misconception, that's grossed out many and engaged others! There's no right or wrong, some could say they like only greater Cinema, others instead could enjoy bad taste and provocations that many like myself feel more of the 1960's/1970's, but today seem trite and plain shabby. To each their own, i guess! But, it is so rare to see an original film, and,let's face it, it is extremely rare to see an Horror film, that breaks all rules with greater skills, such as some personal story telling, a precise and vibrant, driven visual style, and, a profound search and devotion fencing, without fears, most superstitions, presenting an audience, with a show daring to introduce us to the verge of a mysterious, unraveling darkness, coming directly from the mind! Talented, true virtuoso, Italian filmmaker (he writes, produces, photographs, cuts his movies!)Ivan Zuccon is indeed a surprise himself for me, and, for many of those who saw his enigmatic, but, splendid, somber yet powerful, "Wrath of the Crows",the other night in Hollywood, leaving pretty much everyone, at the end of the projection, like under a spell! I am not saying that this work is flawless, but, with ambiguity and with scenes, at times, virtually unexplained and seemingly coming out of a nightmare, drives us all inside a rabid madness and really does conquer fear from the interiors, using with nonchalance, a thought provoking, emotional tone of discovery, featuring pessimistic hallucinations, over a succession of alternating and troubling, incessant flashes, where the fine line between evil and good may be drawn, making us question whether its immoral conclusion was maybe already impairing our final judgment! Through an always fascinating array of arresting and vivid images, at times dreamy, at times much more painfully real, like the horror devouring all principal characters, the movie is extending, stretching not credibility, but, simply living with us, a surreal, yet never impossible path: a walk through existence, love, death, addiction, sickness, religions and faith, injustice, even a complete, utterly penetrating, reconstruction of the after life, with a clarity not made accessible to everyone, but able to interest even the agnostic's. Zuccon, always extremely well served by stories that feel real, thanks to the good use of some great actors, does not leave us ever breathing for a single moment! The acting certainly was another winning point: was mostly impressed by all British players, all truly exceptionally believable, and, in particular, Brian Fortune and,newcomer John Game, who both are able to almost create singular elements of introspection out of the reveal of their characters! And, then, Domiziano Arcangeli, who is another example himself of life and paradox, finds here another occasion, not limiting his extremely unique face and his burning glare to a provocative image, but, that adds up to a playful and painful game, portraying a dilemma that spawns over existence, solitude, addictions, murders, revealing how a sense of self awareness can break into despair even the most sarcastic, harsh and distant aloofness, while, his hidden frailty is rather at the very helm of his irremediably wounded, tragic persona. More surprises were delivered by all lead characters, a full cast of scream queens, all so perfectly "non screaming" (aside, from Tiffany Shepis, revealing and sexy costume, that ends up becoming too much of a concession to the non sublime, and, to interfere with her powerful performance, some of her best work to date!) but sensitively working on building up their corrupted characters with earnest dramatic qualities, recreating emblematic dark ladies,also conveying a disturbing impression over the meanings of abuse, nailing, completely, the different ways it gets in the middle of happiness and redemption. A chilling, bewildering movie introducing, so convincingly, some impressive thoughts over destiny and after life, rarely discussed elsewhere,and, an impressive wave of humanity tragically anchored to repress, hopelessly, their heavy contradictions, facing life and death, within the repercussions of a present that's here re-enacted as envisioned by the mind of a true artist, and, this was truly the best surprise of the evening, for me!