Film Review: FRANCESCA (2015)

Film Review: FRANCESCA (2015)

Nov 1, 2016

In 2013, Luciano Onetti put out a low budget “neo-giallo” shout out to all of our favorite Italian filmmakers. Sonno Profondo, or Deep Sleep, is a film that you may have come across on your streaming services. It is a gritty little homage film that is definitely worth checking out. While this review isn’t about that film in particular, it is important to note that this little straight-to-free-streaming-services-film has turned into a follow-up film that will surely put the talent behind it on the map.

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Written by Luciano Onetti and Nicolás Onetti, Francesca is a brutal follow-up that we were completely pumped to hear was being picked up by Unearthed Films. Unearthed didn’t just put out a quickly thrown together DVD release either. Their three disc release contains DVD, BD, and the CD soundtrack. It also has amazing inserts, cover art, and more that will have the collector drooling. As far as this label goes, this could easily become their best release of the year. As far as the film goes, it may create a new era of film-making. 

The homage film has become very popular in recent years. For the most part, these throwback films look at the eighties for a time period and horror/sci-fi for genre inspiration. While there are a few “Neo-Giallos” out there, Francesca may be the one that embodies it as a legitimate genre. People have been raving about this film since its release for that very reason. You see, Francesca isn’t just a film that was made to look old. It has actually been mistaken for a seventies re-release.

This movie, however, was not made in the seventies. It isn’t a long lost classic. It is a modern film that looks and sounds absolutely amazing. The story follows the horror/mystery stories of the Giallo era. While I don’t know the technical side of the filming, they did something to make it look like it was filmed on older equipment…and I’m sure it wasn’t just Instagram filters.

The music, while original, also sounds just like something that was pulled from your favorite genre films of the time period. The odd tone, ominous set design, and strangely sexual content also manages to create a sense of unease that you can only get from the best horror films from today, as well as back in the day.  The only thing that sets this film apart from many classic Giallo titles is the fact that it has a short title. Maybe they thought giving it a long name like Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key or an animal based title like The Bloodstained Butterfly would just be too much.

Either way, this isn’t just a great imitation. This film also has good acting, great kills, and very mature direction. Even if they took out all of the Giallo elements, it would still stand alone as a great modern slasher film. Of course, it is the Giallo elements that makes it a film that will widen its appeal even more. This is one that fans of horror new and old will appreciate. The three disc release is also about as thorough as you can get, giving Unearthed the opportunity to be up there with Arrow when it comes to quality of release.