A small thing that annoyed me: early in the film our hero, a film student, watches The Golem on a widescreen TV, vertically stretched to fill the screen. Some fucking film student YOU are, son. Apparently this was supposed to be the first of six or seven Hitchcock-themed TV thrillers, I’ve no idea if the rest were made or not but this doesn’t exactly constitute the most inspiring start to any such series. In a way I find something perversely admirable about the bluntness with which Argento admits the film is a knock-off of not one but a number of Hitchcock films by directly citing them as well as restaging their plots, the “exchange of murders” from Strangers on a Train and the voyeurism theme of Rear Window being the primary ones at work here. Unfortunately Argento’s a bit hamstrung by his hero, the aforementioned film student, whose mobility compared with James Stewart in the latter film means he goes beyond just being a voyeur (a film student who’s a voyeur? Wow, THERE’s a scathing condemnation of the filmmaker for you) to being, well, a stalker. Also unlike Stewart’s character, Julio lacks a certain likeability to make this fact palatable. At least the English dubbing isn’t as ghastly as on the last film, which is not to say that it’s good as such, some of the dialogue is still pretty ropey and some of the delivery of same is too, but somehow I find the English accents less aggravating than the American ones… On a positive note, maybe this’ll inspire people to go and watch some actual Hitchcock (certainly it’s reminded me I need to give Strangers another go), and it’s certainly not as actively bad as The Card Player was. It’s just not particularly good, either.
Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005)