Dario Argento proves to be on characteristically fine form. Trauma is filled with all the wild bursts of imagination, bizarre plot twists and sequences of almost surreal intensity that one has come to associate with Argento. Some of these are quite astonishing the seance where Piper Lauries medium picks up the spirit of a murdered woman, only to realise that the murderer is one of the people sitting around the table (a scene that is reminiscent of the opening of Argentos Deep Red (1976), which had a psychic giving a demonstration and picking up a killer in the audience); the scenes with the kid who lives next door to the killers house puzzling over the head that keeps looking out the window, entering the house and playing with the electronic noose, even putting it around his neck without realising what it is; or where Christopher Rydell finds a victims severed head left in a room, still whispering to him. Trauma comes with Dario Argentos characteristically arty flourishes and distractions lizards seem to run through the film as a motif and are intercut with the killings, while opera plays in the background.
Collaboration with horror writer T.E.D. Klein gives Argento a more substantial and coherent plot than usual. The script for Trauma is not without some annoyances the revelation of the murderer being amongst the attendees at the seance at the beginning turns out to be a cheat. Argento and T.E.D. Klein also do not seem to know the technical difference between anorexia and bulimia (which is what the film shows Aura to be suffering from, rather than anorexia). There are a few loose ends amongst the exposition we never find out much about the ambiguous Dr Judd, who at one point is found molesting Aura. Nor do we understand why David became a drug addict.
The cast are average Argentos daughter Asia, in the first of her lead roles in her fathers films and then on the international stage, is annoyingly brattish. Brad Dourif typically overacts, as does the usually great Piper Laurie in a horridly overblown performance.
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), Phenomena/Creepers (1985), Opera/Terror at the Opera (1987), Two Evil Eyes (1990), The Stendhal Syndrome (1996), The Phantom of the Opera (1998), Sleepless (2001), The Card Player (2004), Mother of Tears: The Third Mother (2007), Giallo (2009) and Dracula (2012).