This week, I decided to start out 2019 with some Lucio Fulci and my VHS of his 1977 giallo, The Psychic.
When a vision leads her to a body inside the walls of her husband's former home, Virginia (Jennifer O'Neill) goes about trying to solve the crime.
The Psychic was made right before Fulci's extended foray into the supernatural – for which many consider to have been his best period – with titles that included Zombie, The Beyond, House By The Cemetery and City of the Living Dead. With this one being on the cusp of that era, I actually found myself surprised by how understated this movie was.
With the body count standing at an anemic three – with only one happening onscreen – I would go so far as to say The Psychic was downright restrained. It also didn't help that the aforementioned death scene was an almost shot-for-shot lift from Fulci's earlier film Don't Torture A Duckling.
The Psychic at its heart was a giallo with all the usual misdirects, visual queues and star Jennifer O'Neill put in a solid performance and she wandered from shock zoom to shock zoom. Seriously, there were so many, it would've made Mario Bava blush.
The story owed most of its DNA to Edgar Allan Poe, namely The Black Cat, but with the furry object of its climax switched out for a watch alarm. A pair of things struck me about that, first was how much the final moments mirrored Denis Villeneuve's 2013 film Prisoners and also that Fulci felt the need to revisit this Poe classic less than five years later in 1981, albeit with a better cast and more grandeur.
Though The Psychic may be the weakest of Fulci's giallos, it was still super watchable on the strengths of tried and true formula and a solid score by Fabio Frizzi.