61 Days of Halloween: All the Colors of the Dark

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

All the Colors of the Dark

All the Colors of the Dark (Shriek Show)

This is the kind of film that proves an axiom that is even more true of the giallo subgenre than it is of the horror as a whole. While some may disagree on the percentage the premise is this: only 10% of horror films are good, honestly and truly good.

The giallo subgenre has many trappings which make this equation at times even harder. This film follows the basic rules: there is a female protagonist, a secret buried in the past that if unearthed may lead to the identity of the killer which is a mystery.

This one just fails to work in many instances. One reason is that the web of conspirators against our lead is far too large. While it is good that a seemingly innocuous plot point may have cleared things up you wonder why the caller was so arcane and why the lead wasn’t curious enough.

The set up does work well. There is even some disturbing dream imagery that throws you off the scent a bit too much. However, the whole film becomes far too concerned with blurring the line between dream and reality. It makes you wonder if Fellini ever secretly regretted opening 8 1/2 in a dream though he can’t be held accountable for this kind of hackneyed use of a dream beginning.

The cinematography at times gets quite clumsy even for the surrealistic effect that is sought.

While the involvement of a cult in this story is interesting it is typically a move that ends up being a trap. For every positive scene that is introduced due to this aspect there is another which is less desirable that can come in to play because its hard to swallow how any are in this particular cult.

This film not only has dreams but it would appear visions which eventually are so exploited that they lose all effectiveness.