This Italian film, directed by the legendary Dario Argento, feels like two different films loosely tied together by a Jack the Ripper type of murderer.  

This film, set in Rome, follows prostitute Diana (played by Llenia Pastorelli) as she makes her way in life. At the same time, there’s a guy that’s going around Rome killing prostitutes. As one might think, the Italian Jack the Ripper sets his sights on Diana. After nearly missing her, a car chase ensues, and she ends up causing a car accident where two parents are killed orphaning a young boy. The accident also leaves her blind.  

This is where the narrative divides into two different movies. The first is Diana and her tale of survival. She’s adjusting to being blind and seeking help through Rita (played by Asia Argento). Eventually, she ends up illegally adopting the orphaned child and together they have to come to terms with life after the car accident. 

All the while, the police are still searching for the serial killer and doing an abominable job. That’s pretty much that storyline. 

Then in the third act of the film, the two stories end up crashing together like the actual car crash earlier in the film. And just like in that initial wreck, a lot of people die, and the survivors walk away finally free. 

Dark Glasses wasn’t a bad film. If you look at it through the lens of survivor guilt and overcoming trauma, it’s actually pretty good. Pastorelli does a good job showing off those emotions and helplessness. I would’ve liked to see her a little bit more empowered throughout the film. Most of the film, she’s being helped from one murder scene to another. The boy leads her through a countryside in order to get away from the killer, and then by the end she’s saved by something else. I get that she’s blind but being blind doesn’t mean that she’s helpless. I was sort of expecting her to fight the killer and use her enhanced senses of hearing and smell (since smell is talked about more than once), but that didn’t happen.  

The other thing I felt was lacking was the concept of the eclipse. At the beginning of the movie, the eclipse happens, and I thought it would spark some supernatural occurrence, but instead it foreshadows the main character’s own blindness. While that’s not bad, I also thought that perhaps her vision would return by the end of the film because then it would parallel the eclipse. I was disappointed by both accounts. Think about it, it would have been so cool that after the bad guy dies and the trauma is over, she’s able to take off the Dark Glasses and she’s able to see again, just like one does during an eclipse.  

Argento does a great job with the level of gore though. If you’re a fan of his, you won’t be disappointed with the gore and the terror.  

Overall, Dark Glasses was an okay film, but lacked in several areas that held it back from being a great film. 

If you want to watch this film, you can stream it using Shudder. This is a Shudder exclusive.


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