Dario Argento is an Italian film director, producer, and screenwriter known for his contributions to the horror genre.

He has become an influential figure in the Italian giallo genre, which is characterized by its use of mystery, suspense, and graphic violence.

Argento’s films are often praised for their striking visual style, intense musical scores, and inventive kill scenes.

Argento’s films continue to inspire horror filmmakers today, and his unique blend of style and substance has earned him a dedicated fanbase.

Best Dario Argento Films

Here are the best Dario Argento movies.

1. Deep Red (1975)

Deep Red (Profondo Rosso in Italian) is a 1975 Italian giallo film directed by Dario Argento. The film follows a musician named Marcus Daly (played by David Hemmings) who witnesses the murder of a psychic woman, and becomes obsessed with finding the killer.

The film is known for its stylish and inventive use of camera work, lighting, and music, as well as its graphic violence and suspenseful set pieces.

The score, composed by Argento’s frequent collaborator Goblin, has become iconic and is often cited as one of the best horror film scores of all time.

Deep Red is considered one of Argento’s best films and is widely regarded as a classic of the giallo genre. Its influence can be seen in numerous other horror films, particularly in the use of stylish visuals and suspenseful pacing.

Deep Red
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi (Actors)
  • Dario Argento (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • English (Publication Language)

2. Suspiria (1977)

“Suspiria” is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento. The film follows an American ballet student named Suzy who travels to Germany to attend a prestigious dance academy.

However, strange and supernatural occurrences begin to plague the academy, and Suzy discovers that the school is run by a coven of witches.

One of the key features of “Suspiria” is its stunning use of vivid colors and visual style. The film’s color palette is extremely bold and saturated, creating a dreamlike and surreal atmosphere that adds to the sense of horror and unease.

The film also features a haunting and iconic score by progressive rock band Goblin.

   

Another characteristic of “Suspiria” is its emphasis on atmosphere and mood over plot and character development.

The film relies heavily on visual and auditory techniques to create a sense of tension and dread, rather than relying on traditional storytelling techniques.

“Suspiria” is a classic of Italian horror cinema and a must-see for fans of the genre. Its bold visual style and unique approach to horror make it a standout film that continues to influence horror filmmakers today.

Suspiria
  • Suspiria
  • Spanish (Subtitle)
  • English (Publication Language)

3. Tenebrae (1982)

Tenebrae” is a 1982 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento.

The film follows the story of an American writer, played by Anthony Franciosa, who travels to Rome to promote his latest novel, only to become embroiled in a string of gruesome murders that bear a striking resemblance to the killings in his book.

As the bodies pile up and the police struggle to find the killer, the writer becomes increasingly paranoid and begins to suspect that someone is targeting him personally.

With the help of his assistant, played by Daria Nicolodi, he sets out to uncover the truth behind the murders and put an end to the madness once and for all.

“Tenebrae” is a classic example of Argento’s signature style of horror, characterized by bold colors, inventive camera work, and a focus on brutal violence and suspense.

The film is also notable for its use of a pulsing, electronic score by Italian prog-rock band Goblin.

Despite being controversial upon its initial release due to its violence and sexual content, “Tenebrae” has since become a cult classic among horror fans, and is regarded as one of Argento’s most influential works.

Tenebrae (1982) ( Tenebre ) ( Under the Eyes of the Assassin (Unsane) ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.0 Import - Spain ]
  • Tenebrae (1982) ( Tenebre ) ( Under the Eyes of the Assassin (Unsane) )
  • Tenebrae (1982)
  • Tenebre
  • Under the Eyes of the Assassin (Unsane)
  • John Steiner, John Saxon, Giuliano Gemma (Actors)

4. Phenomena (1985)

“Phenomena” is a 1985 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento.

The film follows Jennifer Corvino (played by Jennifer Connelly), a young girl who is sent to a boarding school in Switzerland.

Jennifer has a unique ability to communicate with insects, and soon finds herself drawn into a mystery involving a serial killer who is targeting young girls in the area.

The film is notable for its dreamlike atmosphere, striking visuals, and surreal storytelling.

   

It also features a memorable score by Italian progressive rock band Goblin, and a strong performance from Jennifer Connelly, who was just 14 years old at the time of filming.

Despite mixed critical reception upon its initial release, Phenomena has since become a cult classic among horror fans, and is regarded as one of Argento’s most visually stunning and thematically rich films.

It is recommended for fans of Italian horror cinema, as well as those who enjoy atmospheric and surreal storytelling.

Phenomena [DVD]
  • Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Daria Nicolodi (Actors)
  • Dario Argento (Director) - Dario Argento (Writer)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

5. Two Evil Eyes (1990)

Two Evil Eyes (1990) is a horror anthology film directed by George A. Romero and Italian horror maestro Dario Argento.

The film is divided into two parts, each based on a short story by Edgar Allan Poe.

The first part, “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” is directed by Argento and follows a wealthy man who agrees to be hypnotized on his deathbed in order to protect his inheritance from his gold-digging wife and her lover.

However, the hypnotic state proves to be more dangerous than he could have imagined.

The second part, “The Black Cat,” is directed by Romero and follows a crime photographer who begins to lose his grip on reality after killing his girlfriend’s black cat.

As his mental state deteriorates, he becomes increasingly violent and erratic.

   

Three reasons why you should watch Two Evil Eyes:

Stellar talent: The film features two of the most iconic horror directors of all time, Romero and Argento, both at the top of their game.

Horror fans will relish the opportunity to see their styles and sensibilities collide in one film.

Edgar Allan Poe: The film is based on two short stories by Poe, one of the most celebrated horror writers in history.

Fans of Poe’s work will appreciate the faithful adaptations, as well as the directors’ interpretations and embellishments.

Classic horror: Two Evil Eyes is a throwback to classic horror, with its gothic atmosphere, supernatural elements, and macabre themes.

Horror fans looking for a dose of old-school scares and thrills will enjoy this film.

Two Evil Eyes [DVD] [1990]
  • Unknown (Actor)
  • English, Italian (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

6. Opera (1987)

“Opera” is a 1987 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento.

The film tells the story of a young opera singer named Betty (played by Cristina Marsillach), who is chosen to star in a production of “Macbeth” directed by a renowned opera director.

However, Betty soon finds herself stalked by a mysterious figure who forces her to watch as he murders those around her.

As the body count rises, Betty begins to suspect that the killer may be someone closer to her than she ever imagined.

Like many of Argento’s films, “Opera” is known for its striking visual style and intense violence.

The film features several memorable set pieces, including a scene in which the killer forces Betty to watch as he murders one of her co-stars with a knife attached to a raven’s leg.

The film’s use of opera music also adds to its tension and atmosphere.

Despite receiving mixed reviews upon its initial release, “Opera” has since become a cult classic and is considered by many to be one of Argento’s most visually stunning and suspenseful films.

Opera
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson, Urbano Barberini (Actors)
  • Dario Argento (Director) - Dario Argento (Writer) - Dario Argento (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

7. Inferno (1980)

Inferno (1980) is a supernatural horror film directed by Italian filmmaker Dario Argento. It is the second film in his “Three Mothers” trilogy, following Suspiria (1977) and preceding Mother of Tears (2007).

The film follows a young woman named Rose Elliot who discovers a strange and malevolent force lurking beneath the surface of her New York apartment building.

Here are three characteristics of Inferno:

Stylistic visuals: Like many of Argento’s films, Inferno is known for its striking visual style.

The film makes use of vibrant colors, intricate set design, and surreal imagery to create a dreamlike atmosphere that is both beautiful and unsettling.

Suspenseful storytelling: Inferno is a horror film, and as such, it is designed to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

The film builds tension slowly but steadily, using music, sound effects, and camera work to create an atmosphere of dread and anticipation.

Exploration of the supernatural: Like many of Argento’s films, Inferno explores supernatural themes and ideas.

The film’s plot centers around the discovery of a book known as The Three Mothers, which reveals the existence of three powerful and malevolent witches who inhabit different parts of the world.

The film’s exploration of these supernatural elements adds to its overall sense of mystery and terror.

Inferno [DVD]
  • Irene Miracle, Alida Valli, Feodor Chaliapin Jr. (Actors)
  • Dario Argento (Director)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

8. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)

“The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” is a 1970 Italian thriller film directed by Dario Argento.

The film follows an American writer, played by Tony Musante, who witnesses an attempted murder while walking home from a gallery one night.

The victim survives, but the writer becomes obsessed with solving the crime and begins to investigate on his own, putting himself in danger in the process.

As he delves deeper into the mystery, the writer encounters a number of suspicious characters, including the victim’s beautiful wife, a mysterious artist, and a menacing figure in a trench coat.

With the help of a local detective, played by Enrico Maria Salerno, he begins to piece together the clues and uncover the truth behind the attack.

“The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” is notable for being Argento’s directorial debut and for introducing many of the stylistic elements that would become synonymous with his later work, such as elaborate set pieces, vivid color schemes, and a focus on violent imagery.

The film also features a memorable score by Italian composer Ennio Morricone.

“The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it helped to launch Argento’s career as one of Italy’s most celebrated horror directors.

Sale
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (Special Edition) [Blu-ray]
  • Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Eva Renzi (Actors)
  • Dario Argento (Director)
  • Spanish (Publication Language)

9. The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)

“The Stendhal Syndrome” is a 1996 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento, known for his distinctive and often surreal style of filmmaking.

The film follows Anna Manni (played by Asia Argento), a police detective who suffers from a rare psychological condition known as the Stendhal Syndrome, which causes her to become disoriented and hallucinate when she is exposed to beautiful art.

While investigating a serial killer in Florence, Italy, Anna becomes overwhelmed by her own condition and begins to lose touch with reality.

The film features stunning cinematography, surreal dream sequences, and a haunting score by Ennio Morricone.

“The Stendhal Syndrome” is a dark and intense film that explores themes of violence, art, and the fragile nature of the human mind.

It is recommended for fans of psychological horror, as well as those interested in exploring the work of Dario Argento.

However, due to its graphic violence and disturbing content, it may not be suitable for all viewers.

Sale
The Stendhal Syndrome (2-Disc Special Edition)
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Asia Argento, Thomas Kretschmann, Marco Leonardi (Actors)
  • Dario Argento (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • English (Publication Language)

10. Sleepless (2001)

Sleepless (2001) is an Italian crime thriller directed by Dario Argento. It tells the story of a retired detective, Ulisse Moretti (played by Max von Sydow), who is brought back to investigate a series of murders that seem to be connected to a case he worked on years earlier.

The film also stars Stefano Dionisi as Ulisse’s younger partner, Giacomo, and Chiara Caselli as a prostitute named Gloria.

Here are some key elements of Sleepless that might make it worth watching:

Director Dario Argento: Argento is a legendary director in the horror and thriller genres, known for his stylish and visually striking films.

Sleepless is one of his later works, and while it may not be considered his best, it still has many of the hallmarks that have made him a cult favorite among horror fans.

Atmospheric visuals: As with many of Argento’s films, Sleepless is notable for its vivid and striking visuals.

The film features a number of set-pieces that are both beautiful and disturbing, from a lavish costume ball to a creepy abandoned hotel.

Intriguing mystery: The central mystery of Sleepless is compelling, with enough twists and turns to keep viewers guessing until the end.

The film also features a number of unsettling and gruesome murder scenes, which may appeal to fans of the giallo genre (an Italian subgenre of thriller/horror).

Sleepless
  • Max von Sydow, Stefano Dionisi, Chiara Caselli (Actors)
  • Dario Argento (Director) - Carlo Lucarelli (Writer)
  • English, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

3 Characteristics of Dario Argento Films

Dario Argento is a renowned Italian filmmaker and screenwriter who is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the horror genre.

His films are known for their striking visual style, intense violence, and use of suspense and psychological horror.

Here are three characteristics commonly associated with Dario Argento’s films:

Unique Visual Style

Argento is known for his use of vivid, highly stylized visuals in his films. His use of bright colors, intense lighting, and intricate camera movements create a surreal and dreamlike atmosphere that sets his films apart from traditional horror movies.

His work is often compared to that of master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.

Intricate Plots

Argento’s films are known for their complex, intricate plots that often revolve around themes of mystery and psychological horror.

His use of misdirection and plot twists keep audiences guessing until the very end. Many of his films feature intricate murder mysteries that the protagonist must solve.

Violence and Gore

Argento’s films are not for the faint of heart. They often feature graphic violence, gore, and brutal death scenes.

However, unlike many other horror filmmakers who use violence simply for shock value, Argento uses it to enhance the tension and horror of his stories.

His films are not only visually stunning, but also psychologically disturbing.

Reasons Why You Should Watch Dario Argento Films

Dario Argento is known for his unique visual style that combines vivid colors, surreal imagery, and innovative camera techniques.

His films are often visually stunning and a feast for the eyes, making them an unforgettable viewing experience.

Master of Suspense

Argento is a master of suspense, and his films are known for their tension-filled sequences and unexpected twists.

His films often involve a killer on the loose, and the audience is kept on the edge of their seats as they try to figure out who the killer is and what their motive is.

Influence On The Horror Genre

Argento’s films have had a significant impact on the horror genre, influencing filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, Guillermo del Toro, and Nicolas Winding Refn.

His films are often cited as some of the best examples of Italian horror, and they continue to inspire new generations of filmmakers and horror fans alike.

Best Dario Argento Films – Wrapping Up

Dario Argento is a renowned Italian film director and screenwriter known for his work in the horror and thriller genres.

He has directed many acclaimed films over the years, but here are some of his best works:

Suspiria (1977): A horror masterpiece, Suspiria is considered to be Argento’s best work.

The film follows a young American dancer who enrolls in a prestigious dance academy in Germany, only to discover that it is run by a coven of witches.

Deep Red (1975): A classic giallo film, Deep Red follows a jazz pianist who witnesses a murder and becomes the killer’s next target.

The film features Argento’s trademark stylized violence and intricate plot twists.

Tenebrae (1982): Tenebrae is a slasher film that follows an American author on a book tour in Rome, where a serial killer is recreating the murders from his latest novel.

The film features some of Argento’s most memorable set pieces and a tense climax.

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970): Argento’s debut film, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is a stylish giallo thriller that follows an American writer who witnesses a murder and becomes involved in the investigation.

Phenomena (1985): A supernatural horror film, Phenomena follows a young girl with psychic powers who enrolls in a Swiss boarding school and becomes embroiled in a series of murders.

The film features a memorable performance by Jennifer Connelly and some of Argento’s most inventive set pieces.

Dario Argento’s films are known for their stylish visuals, intricate plots, and intense violence.

His work has had a significant impact on the horror and thriller genres, and his films continue to be influential to this day.