Film / Phenomena

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She is a schoolgirl with an incredible telepathic link to insects. He is a fly with the amazing ability to pick up the scent of dead bodies over a great distance. Together, They Fight Crime!
Jennifer Corvino, the daughter of a famous actor, arrives in an elite academy in Switzerland. Unfortunately, there are several factors that make the transfer to a new school hard on her:
  1. Jennifer has the ability to attract and communicate with insects, which may guarantee her billions of friends among arthropods, but alienates her human peers.
  2. She is a chronic sleepwalker, which serves to make her look even more suspicious in the eyes of the faculty and students.
  3. There's been a series of grisly murders in the area, and new bodies are still turning up.

During one of her nightly trips, Jennifer meets and befriends Professor John McGregor, a kindly old entomologist who has been helping the local police with the murder investigation. McGregor is fascinated by Jennifer's strange gift, and soon she gets to put her abilities to good use by doing a little amateur sleuthing of her own.

Phenomena is a 1985 film directed and written by Dario Argento, starring a young Jennifer Connelly (in her first leading role), huge swarms of flies and a chimpanzee wielding a razor. The initial U.S. release of the film was edited down and re-titled Creepers, though it has since then received an uncut DVD release in the States.

Was the main inspiration for the original Clock Tower game for Super Famicom.

Not to be confused with another film titled Phenomenon, which is an entirely different creature.

This film provides examples of:

  • Alone with the Psycho: And his victims if they count.
  • Asshole Victim: Sophie. And Frau Brückner by a chimp no less! Also, despite knowing so little of them and after learning what kind of people are within the boarding school, the student victims prior to Jennifer's arrival and Sophie's death can count too, as almost every female student except Jennifer is The Bully with no decent soul living there with the teaching staff filled with Sadist Teachers led by a cruel Dean Bitterman, making this boarding school of a doozy of a social Crapsack World within.
  • Ax-Crazy: Frau Bruckner loses it completely in the end and starts cackling like mad.
    • That's not even mentioning her son and how fucked up he is. He kills without provocation, and Frau Bruckner had to set up a special dumping ground for whenever he kills someone.
  • The Beast Master: Jennifer can telepathically communicate with insects and summon swarms of insects to attack people.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Inga, Professor McGregor's chimpanzee, kills Frau Brückner when she tries to decapitate Jennifer.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sophie who mocked Jennifer behind her back and left her without bothering to even lock the door. And Frau Bruckner who looked like a reserved and shy woman while she was actually a warped and tormented maniac.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Jennifer survives the ordeal and the villains are killed but Dr. Mac Gregor and Morris, her only human friends are also dead and Jennifer hugs Inga the ape as a reminder that her only friends now belong to the animal kingdom.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: Though most of the horror happens outside the school perimeter.
  • The Cavalry: A HUGE swarm of flies respond to Jennifer's distress when she's cornered by Bruckner's insane son, and they start devouring him before he falls into the lake.
  • Child by Rape: Frau Brückner's child is a result of her rape by the inmates of the local insane asylum.
  • Creepy Child: Frau Brückner's son.
    • Jennifer herself, although it's not an overt kind of creepy beyond having a few spaced out moments.
  • Daylight Horror: The first murder is the only one that happens during the day but because of the cold, isolated landscape and the offbeat music it is one of the eeriest scenes.
  • Dean Bitterman: The headmistress of the school. As cruel and unhelpful as Dr. Mc Gregor was nice.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Jennifer.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Inga, Professor McGregor's chimpanzee assistant. Unless you are an enemy and killer of her boss.
  • Final Girl: Jennifer.
  • Foreshadowing: When Jennifer goes to Frau Brückners house if one pays close attention the living room looks pretty familiar, because it is exactly the same as the house in the Alps. This could symbolize that despite the change of the outside on the inside of the killer and his mother nothing changes. Also Jennifer mistaking a creepy doll for the boy is a warning for his less than canny and human appearance.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Jennifer is a friend to all things six-legged, which unfortunately isn't endearing to most people around her.
  • Friend to Bugs: Jennifer loves insects the way other girls love kittens.
  • Genius Cripple: Professor John McGregor who can from his wheelchair help the police procedure by analysing the data of his insect pets.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Jennifer, due to her powers and sleepwalking, making her a prime suspect in the latest spree of killings in the eyes of her human peers and the headmistress.
  • House of Broken Mirrors: The killer's house is more a hidden mirrors. Which makes it even more disturbing when you consider that they could just unhang them, instead of letting them serve as horrible reminders of the killer's reflection.
  • Idiot Ball: Some of the victims seem to go out of their way - like walking into dark forests or abandoned houses - to get killed.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Jennifer and Professor John McGregor, who understands her better than any people her age.Tragically it doesn't last long...
  • Jerkass: The girls in the school who mercilessly taunt Jennifer on discovering her powers.
    • Even Sophie qualifies considering she calls Jennifer weird behind her back.
  • Kid Hero: Jennifer is a teenage hero but does better than the police thanks to her unique skills.
  • Madwoman in the Attic Frau Brückner's deformed son was chained to the basement the second time. She controlled him enough however for him to return after his nightly escapades.
  • Mama Bear: Frau Brückner is a sinister version.
  • Meaningful Name: Jennifer's last name is Corvino which in Italian, translates to raven, a bird that was historically shunned because of its presumed association with death. Jennifer is likewise ostracized by most of the students and faculty at her school because of her weird tendencies and this worsens when many characters initially think she is behind the recent killings.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Poor Professor McGregor.He understood to much to live.
  • Missed the Bus: Vera Brandt, the teenage tourist at the start of the film.
  • Nightmare Face: Good God, Frau Bruckner's kid.
  • No Name Given: Frau Bruckner's son isn't referred to by name in the film, but it seems his designation is Patua.
  • Offscreen Karma: It's never openly stated but the film ends with the killers dead, one of them a teacher and deputy Headmistress of the school which means that the school's administration will be in deep shit and that at the very least the Headmistress will be removed from her position which is fair considering she tried to unlawfully incarcerate Jennifer.
  • Older Than They Look: Frau Bruckner was raped 15 years ago, but her son has the stature of a five or six year old. Of course, then he turns around to face Jennifer and size doesn't matter anymore.
  • One-Woman Wail: The beginning of the film's main theme.

Alternative Title(s): Creepers

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/Phenomena