Dario Argento: Panico

The cinematic world of writer/director Dario Argento might be filled with chaos and unimaginable horrors, but there is an elegance to his craft; a perfection that goes unmatched when it comes to the subgenre of horror known as giallo. Argento’s films are powerhouses of mood, atmosphere, and filled to the brim with beauty. Say whatever you want to about his subject matter, Argento knows how to film women and bring out their beauty: both inside and out.

"lays out a blueprint for all documentary filmmakers to follow in allowing its subject to return to the very setting that originally ignited his creative ferver"

That’s one thing you will understand after watching Panico, a new documentary about Dario Argento. Directed by Simone Scafidi and co-written by Scafidi, Manlio Gomarasca, and Davide Pulici, Panico finds Argento himself in front of cameras, answering questions about his upbringing and the rationale behind his filmography, a list which includes Suspiria, Deep Red, Four Flies on Grey Velvet, Phenomena, Tenebrae, Inferno, and (most recently) Vortex.

Shot as beautifully as if it were an Argento film itself, Panico documents Argento’s passion for The Phantom of the Opera, his own artistic quirks, his family history, and his own upbringing around the beauty his mother photographed (the likes of Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren), and his father’s work in film distribution. And while the film can’t explain the intrinsic aesthetic that surrounds his work, it gives us a good guide as to where it originated from.Dario Argento: Panico

Panico sees Argento in yet another secluded hotel room where he sits, soaking up the ambiance and telling his story, while he works to finish his latest project. The film crew follows him around as he works and recounts the making of each and every one of his films: the ups and the downs. And he is quite frank, refreshingly so throughout Panico.

Combining archival footage with new interviews from Asia Argento, Fiore Argento, Nicolas Winding Refn, Gaspar Noè, Guillermo Del Toro, Michel Savia, Lamberto Bava, Franco Ferrini, Panico lays out a blueprint for all documentary filmmakers to follow in allowing its subject to return to the very setting that originally ignited his creative ferver.

And it is all for the sake of his wonderfully violent neon-lit art.

Complete with new music from composer Alessandro Baldessari, Panico sets the record straight and fills us with a rather intimate look at one of the greatest living directors we have in the horror genre.

Panico is now streaming on Shudder.

5/5 stars

Film Details

Dario Argento: Panico

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
78 mins
: Simone Scafidi
Simone Scafidi; Giada Mazzoleni; Manlio Gomarasca
Dario Argento; Fiore Argento; Vittorio Cecchi Gori
: Documentary

Memorable Movie Quote:
Official Site: https://www.shudder.com/movies/watch/dario-argento-panico/b2f98994bb7ab8c9
Release Date:
February 2, 2024
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: A film crew documents horror director Dario Argento as he works on his latest script in a hotel room, revisiting the isolation where he dreamed up his most iconic films, removed from distractions to explore his dark imagination.


Dario Argento: Panico