Many Italo-horrorphiles call Phenomena a slipshod piece of Argento. However, there is much to enjoy Argento holds ones attention throughout and the plot is neither any more nor any less coherent than any other Dario Argento film. The setting is admittedly a steal from Suspiria (1977) but Argento only uses it as a springboard and turns the film into a unique detective story. The scenes where Jennifer Connelly realises her psychic powers and starts using the insects to locate the killer are the most fascinating in the film and, although Argento never takes the insect telepathy angle anywhere after introducing it, this slant on a detective story has a uniqueness unlike anything that has ever been done before.
When it comes to his trademark suspense and dismemberment, Argento creates some startling scenes like where Jennifer Connelly realises that she has been poisoned and starts making herself try to throw up before it affects her. The extended climax is also excellent with wild and weird sequences like where Jennifer Connelly follows a telephone cord down a tunnel into a cellar filled with pools of maggot-ridden dead bodies; or Patrick Bauchau having to break his own hand so that he can get out of a manacle; and Jennifer Connellys climactic fight with the killers son, being dragged underwater by him as she tries to flee the burning gasoline in the water.
Jennifer Connelly, then only fifteen years old, turns in a reasonably sophisticated performance and Donald Pleasence lends his kindly if aging presence as the wheelchair-ridden scientist.
Dario Argentos other films are: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), The Cat ONine Tails (1971), Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971), Deep Red (1976), Suspiria (1977), Inferno (1980), Tenebrae/Unsane (1982), Opera/Terror at the Opera (1987), Two Evil Eyes (1990), Trauma (1993), The Stendhal Syndrome (1996), The Phantom of the Opera (1999), Sleepless (2001), The Card Player (2004), Mother of Tears: The Third Mother (2007), Giallo (2009) and Dracula (2012).
Full film available online here:-