In an effort to rejuvenate my thirst for film I have partaken on an ambitious endeavor. I have decided to compile my list of 100 favorite films, “rewatch” them, and write a brief review. I encourage you to follow along.

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90.

The Bird with The Crystal Plumage (Argento, 1970)

When I first viewed Dario Argento’s The Bird with The Crystal Plumage I was blinded. I was blinded by the foolishness of each character, dumbfounded with curiosity, and aimlessly plodding toward danger like zombies through the fog. I missed his own visual curiosity, his wandering eye, and the heavy breathing of obsession. So caught up in the characters was I, that I missed the true drive of the film; fear is everywhere. Every scene is an uneasy setting, from a room full of drunken pugilists, to the sterile environment of computers, shifting, moving, angry, emotionless.

Argento may not have hit the mark perfectly, but there is a clear method to every scene in this film that I seemed to absorb subconsciously the first time around, and only now did I understand why I love the film so. He, like every great horror director, plays on our most primal fears, whether it be claustrophobia, heights, or the dark, these moments are just as much a bogey man as the faceless killer. The killer seems to dwell in these dark places, and even thrive.

We are never more alone than in the grips of our fear.

– James Merolla

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