Dario Argento's latest giallo is a step backwards after 2001's impressive Sleepless, the Italian Carrion sidelining his usual superlative set-pieces and watering down the red stuff.
Set in Rome, it sees a playful serial killer taunt the police with a succession of high-stake poker games played on a chat site. A live webcam offers up the ante: screaming girls, bound and gagged. If the police lose, the girls get it.
Boasting competent turns from Stefania Rocca and Dog Soldiers' Liam Cunningham as frazzled cops who tumble into bed together, The Card Player is not without its moments. Unfortunately, they're few and far between, the rare highlights - a nauseating autopsy, a solitary example of supreme stalk'n'slash and a crazy singing coroner - separated by bad dialogue, tired plot twists and risible motivation. Our advice? Give Suspiria another spin instead. Or Deep Red. Or The Bird With The Crystal Plumage...
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