After marrying a wealthy Italian (Gianni Garko, The Night of the Devils), an American clairvoyant, Virginia Ducci (Jennifer O’Neill, Summer of ’42), moves to Italy. Once in her husband’s mansion, Virginia is drawn to a room where she discovers a body hidden behind a wall. With the help of a parapsychologist (Marc Porel, Don’t Torture a Duckling), Virginia sets out to find out who is the dead person.
Reaction & Thoughts:
“He killed her, now he wants to kill me.”
This is most atypical film of “The Wizard of Gore,” Italian filmmaker Lucio Fulci (Zombie and The House by the Cemetery). The Psychic is a restrained, well-paced, and well-plotted thriller where violence is minimal and suspense is plenty — this is a really nice surprise from the popular, but erratic Italian maestro.
Written by Fulci, Roberto Gianviti and Dardano Sacchetti, The Psychic kept me on the edge of my seat as each clue was revealed. It’s a rock-solid whodunit with supernatural overtones. The clairvoyant lady sees images that she and viewers must decipher before the climax, which is, by the way, very intense. There is a twist near the end that I didn’t see coming — how much fun it is not to get ahead of a movie!
The film gives the beautiful model-turned-actor Jennifer O’Neill (I always confuse her with Jacqueline Bisset!) a rare opportunity to “act.” More often than not, O’Neill is nothing but glitter sprinkled all over a movie. O’Neill is in almost every scene and demonstrates that she can carry a film on her shoulders — it’s a really solid performance. Popular character actor Gabriele Ferzetti (James Bond’s father-in-law in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) is also very good as the main murder suspect.
The moody musical score was written by Franco Bixio, Fabio Frizzi, and Vince Tempera. Trivia alert: The music from the movie was later used by American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino in his popular Kill Bill saga — it’s a creepy score that gets under your skin. The atmospheric cinematography is by director Fulci’s regular cameraman, Sergio Salvati (Four of the Apocalypse and The House by the Cemetery).
Conclusions & Final Thoughts:
Although filmmaker Lucio Fulci has become synonymous with senseless violence and pointless nudity, I assure you that The Psychic has little of that (there are a few bits of mayhem, but nothing the squeamish can’t handle). It’s a fun psychological thriller, with good performances (Jennifer O’Neill is great!) and an involving storyline. Dim the lights and enjoy! Highly recommended! Color, 95 minutes, Rated R.