Tuesday, October 3, 2023

The Strangler (1970) NYFF 2023

Paul Vecchiali's THE STRANGLER is an odd film. A psychological examination of a killer who only kills unhappy looking women is not what you would expect. 

Told in a mannered, almost art house style the film is very much concerned with not being a typical thriller. I went kind of blind into the film thinking I was going to be getting giallo via France and instead I ended up with something different. It's a film that is more akin to some of the thrillers of the last few years which look to show murderers as people in order to mess up out expectations. I can only imagine how this played when it was released in 1970 because it is asking more of the audience than being mere spectators to the carnage.

Oddly, while I was hooked on the film and stayed to the very end I never felt any suspense. In large part this due to out knowing who the killer is, but it's more because Vecchiali is using the thriller tropes simply because its the nature of the film. I suspect that he couldn't have gotten financing had he not done so. There is nothing wrong with there not being suspense, rather it just makes for an unexpected experience if you think it should be there.

I liked THE STRANGLER. I liked its atypical way of telling it's story. It forced me to look at and reconsider other similar films and ponder what I would have thought had they been told differently.

Worth a look

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