Trauma (1993)

R   |    |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller


Trauma (1993) Poster

A young man tries to help a teenage European girl who escaped from a clinic hospital after witnessing the murder of her parents by a serial killer and they try to find the killer before the killer finds them.

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6/10
5,671

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  • Asia Argento and Christopher Rydell in Trauma (1993)
  • Asia Argento in Trauma (1993)
  • Trauma (1993)
  • Christopher Rydell in Trauma (1993)
  • Trauma (1993)
  • Trauma (1993)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


24 March 2005 | kintopf432
6
| Impossible to recommend, but I liked it
I'm beginning to laugh at the distinctions people draw between "good" and "bad" Dario Argento films. They all seem to have some common technical elements: clever camera-work, grotesque but deliberately unrealistic violence, weird music, incomprehensible plots, "impressionistic" titles, and poor acting. None of them work perfectly, even for fans of this style. The variations between the movies, then, come from the genre accidentals – "Profondo Rosso" is a detective thriller, "Suspiria" an occult conspiracy tale, etc.; Argento seems to come along and apply his own unique vision of the giallo onto whatever horror style is fashionable at the time. It's his uniqueness, rather than his ability to produce great films, that has assured his place in the canon.

So, then, "Trauma" turns out to be exactly what we would expect from an early nineties Dario Argento film. Camera-work? Check – even in this late period, Argento's eye and technique are strange and impressive. Violence? Double check – although what the actual purpose of that Decapitron device is supposed to be, I can't imagine. Weird music? Check – orchestral rather than Goblin this time, but still louder and a little more engaged than we would expect. Odd plot, check, arbitrary title, check, bad acting, check – Asia Argento actually manages to make Aura a likable character, but you can't deny that she garbles her lines and seems mostly amateurish throughout. (And she's hardly alone in those respects.)

The slasher subgenre had died out a bit by this point, but no better reason for Argento to try to freshen it up a bit with his unique stamp. The story's quite watchable and fun, and occasionally funny too - more in the vein of "Phenomena" than the early stuff. It's frequently ridiculous, of course, but show me a movie of his that isn't. And while there's a sex element to the film, it has a surprisingly innocent quality, perhaps because Argento was directing his own daughter in the lead. (I'm sure Freud would have a field day with it, though.)

In the end, it's hard to strongly recommend it to anyone – diehards are as likely to hate it as love it, and casual viewers are going to find his style absurd. So I'll give it a 6.5, with the simple comment that I would watch it again.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Grace was originally offered to Bridget Fonda.


Goofs

Severed heads cannot talk. One needs lungs in order to talk.


Alternate Versions

A special uncut version reportedly available on video features 7 minutes of footage omitted from foreign prints including:

  • a new introduction of the Aura and David characters: David (Chris Rydell) drives Grace (Laura Johnson) at the airport and sees Aura (Asia Argento) being beaten by a man whose plane ticket she tried to steal;
  • a new scene features Grace visiting David at the TV station and asking him about Aura; David invites Grace to his house and then calls Aura at home to ask her if she needs any food; Aura lies to him and tells she's already eaten;
  • Aura visits a market and is spotted by Dr. Jarvis (Frederic Forrest), who tries to catch her;
  • After David and Aura escape from the Marigold, she tells him she's taken a little souvenir from Nurse Volkmann's purse; another new shot shows the Marigold's owner talking to the police;
  • David checks into a hotel after following Linda Quirk's car and asks for a room overlooking the parking lot;
  • David asks for information about Dr. Lloyd in a saloon;
  • After David calls Grace and asks her for prescription forms, she meets and confronts him, trying to make him face the fact that he's become a junkie;
  • The death scenes of Linda Quick and of the killer are more graphically explicit (the wire is seen cutting through Linda's neck).


Soundtracks

The Loss
Music by Andrea Bandel and
Pino Donaggio
Arranged by Andrea Bandel
Score Conducted by Gianfranco Plenizio
Arranged and Orchestrated by Pino Donaggio and Natale Massara
Keyboards Programming and Performance by Paolo Steffan
All music published by Bixio C.E.M.S.A.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Horror | Mystery | Thriller

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