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Film: Phenomena
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:

  • 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. And Frau Bruckner.
  • 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 getting raped 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.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Jennifer.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Inga, Professor McGregor's chimpanzee assistant.
  • Executive Meddling: Was edited down and released in the United States as Creepers, which wasn't well-received. The Director's Cut was released on DVD to better acclaim.
  • 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.
  • Jerk Ass: 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.
  • Madwoman in the Attic Frau Brückner's deformed son.
  • 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.
  • Missed the Bus: Vera Brandt, the teenage tourist at the start of the film.
  • Nice Girl: Jennifer.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Off with His Head!
  • One-Woman Wail: The beginning of the film's main theme.
  • Reality Subtext: Argento's own mother abandoned the family after a phone call from her paramour, just like Jennifer's.
  • Rear Window Investigation
  • Sacrificial Lion: Dr. McGregor.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Morris Shapiro.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: A weird example that probably isn't deliberate. Some of the very intense horror sequences in the film are backed by Iron Maiden, of all things. It comes across as narmy Nightmare Retardant to most viewers.
  • The Danza: Jennifer Connelly as Jennifer Corvino
  • Woman in White: Jennifer in the most iconic scenes.

OperaItalian FilmsSalo or the 120 Days of Sodom
Pee-wee's Big AdventureFilms of the 1980sPrizzi's Honor
Phase IVHorror FilmsPieces

alternative title(s): Creepers
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