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Film / Il Profumo Della Signora In Nero

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Il Profumo Della Signora In Nero (The Perfume of the Lady in Black) is an Italian horror film released in 1974, part of the Giallo movement.

Silvia (Mimsy Farmer) is a young, pretty scientist, but the tragic death of her father and dark secrets from childhood torment her and strain her relationship with her boyfriend, Roberto. One night they go to hear an African man speak about voodoo, and for Silvia, the real and the unreal begin to mix...

This film provides examples of:

  • Ax-Crazy: Silvia in the last part, as she kills three men in cold blood, one of whom is her boyfriend... or does she?
  • The Bad Guy Wins: And it's either Silvia, who's gone insane and murdered three people before committing suicide or everybody else, for driving her insane to the point of suicide and eating her.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The speech about how the voodoo curse works.
  • Creepy Child: Silvia-as-a-girl, who starts appearing to adult Silvia and goads her into killing the old man next door, her boyfriend and her mother's lover, and then jumping from the rooftop.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Poor Silvia! Her father died at sea when she was a girl, her stepfather was a bad man who ended up raping her during the movie, and she witnesses a disturbing encounter between him and her mother who later kills herself out of shame.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The first half hour or so.
  • Downer Ending: Either way, the ending is not happy.
  • Driven to Madness: Definitely Silvia.
  • Driven to Suicide: Silvia's mother. Francesca. Also Silvia, supposedly.
  • Everybody Did It: One of the most extreme examples of the trope, for in the ending it is revealed that virtually every living person (and possibly even most of the dead ones) appearing onscreen (including those with just one or two lines) except the protagonist was complicit in the events of the story.
  • Evil Old Folks: According to the interpretation of the ending, this trope is either played straight or subverted by the old man with the cats.
  • Follow the Leader: The movie is in the mold of Rosemary's Baby.
  • Giallo: A debatable example as the film is bloodless bar for the final part. Still it is frequently considered as this.
  • I Am a Humanitarian: The fate of Silvia's body. Maybe.
  • Mind Screw: And how.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Silvia, definitely Silvia.