As one of the most influential figures in Giallo and horror cinema, Dario Argento has cultivated a reputation for creating visceral, shocking films that leave indelible marks on viewers. The upcoming Shudder documentary Dario Argento Panico offers rare insight into the Italian director’s illustrious career from those who know him best.
The feature-length film, directed by Simone Scadfi, includes exclusive interviews with Argento himself as well as his daughter Asia Argento, renowned directors Guillermo del Toro and Gaspar Noé, composer Claudio Simonetti of the legendary prog rock band Goblin, and others. It promises a candid, behind-the-scenes look at the life and works of this Master of Suspense.
Bloody Disgusting obtained an exclusive clip, Simonetti and Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn offer perspective on one of Argento’s most famous films – the 1982 Giallo-slasher Tenebrae. Known for its gripping musical score and famously gory kill scenes, Tenebrae expanded on Argento’s already shocking visual style and cemented many of the tropes for which his movies are known. Simonetti sheds light on creating the film’s iconic synth soundtrack to match the frenetic energy on screen.
As Refn notes, Tenebrae was a major influence on a generation of horror and thriller directors for its brazen embrace of violence. Yet the documentary also shows reverence for Argento’s masterful command of tension, color, and imagination that transcends the graphic shocks. Even all these years later, his bloody fingerprints can be seen all over the genre.
Beyond its insightful interviews, Dario Argento Panico also grants viewers a fly-on-the-wall glimpse at the director’s creative process. Cameras capture Argento holing up in a hotel room to complete the script for his latest nightmare opus, much as he did at the height of his 70s and 80s heyday.
Horror fans can see this career-spanning documentary when it premieres February 2nd exclusively on Shudder. And to celebrate, New York’s IFC Center will feature a theatrical Argento retrospective from January 31st through February 8th showcasing restored prints of Suspiria, Deep Red, Inferno, Tenebrae, and others. With its unprecedented access and breadth of insight into Argento’s imagination and influence, Dario Argento Panico is essential viewing for understanding modern horror’s dark, bloody roots.