The Stendahl Syndrome

A policewoman slowly goes insane after being raped by the serial killer she was tracking down.
Rape and Revenge

 

Italy
1996
Feature Film
Realism: 
Plausible
Translated
Character Focus: 
Serial Killer Film
5.04
Traumatic!
2
4
6
6
1
1
2
This film deals with post-traumatic stress, or, more precisely, the Stendhal syndrome. Dario Argento exposes us to a lot of weird shit in the name of mental illness. His character study is interesting because Asia Argento is, and because she’s easy on the eye. Dario Argento gets inconveniently kinky, considering he’s directing his daughter. As she puts it, she wants to “fuck like a man”.
This is a violent film. Some of it is profoundly shocking. The killer POV is something we’ve seen before, but it’s particularly effective in the way that it is edited. Why Argento chooses to film murders the way he does is a mystery, and he may very well be doing it arbitrarily. The film could’ve ended after an hour but decided to defy conventional storytelling and went on for another one.
For the whole running time, it seems likes Dario Argento wants to comment on the mental condition that is the Stendhal syndrome, but I never quite found out that was. He was telling two stories at once, and one involved a prolific rapist who talks too much. The rape subplot took over and I forgot what I was watching. I forgot what the point of this film was.
Alternate Titles: 
La sindrome di Stendhal
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