The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage ★★★½

The December Project: Film #56

Argento's feature debut is textbook giallo: mysterious, leather glove-clad killer; a protagonist unwittingly caught up in events; brutal murders; a surprise ending. It's fitting that the man most famously associated with the horror subgenre should begin his career with a film that so precisely defines its range. Not quite as impressive as later works like Deep Red, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage nevertheless acts as a fine debut that heralds the great talent to come. Nicely shot with some well-timed cuts and a gritty aesthetic, it's a film as economic as it is effective, with a perfectly decent if not entirely memorable central performance and an ending that's impressively though-out, if a little too meticulously explained.