Dario Argento’s Best Movies, Ranked

Filed in Movie by on July 22, 2022 0 Comments

Celebrated writer, director, and producer Dario Argento has many beloved horror movies under his belt. Active since the ’60s, his movies have achieved international fame for the stylized violence and a unique directing style. He has earned the title of ‘Master of Thrill’ for his noticeable hits in the 1970s and 1980s, including The Three Mothers Trilogy.



Dario Argento has made a comeback in 2022, by releasing his horror mystery movieDark Glasses, which stars Ilenia Pastorelli and his daughter, Asia Argento. Although the movie is not critically acclaimed and has not mustered up a lot of support, it is still exceptional for a movie made on such a low budget. It is safe to say that movies made by Argento still have the classic gory violence, suspense, and provide enough entertainment for viewers to enjoy today.

Keeping his classic style in mind, let us explore some of the best Dario Argento movies, which got the international prominence they deserved.

8 Four Flies on Gray Velvet (1971)

Four Flies on Gray Velvet is the movie that marked the excellence of Dario Argento’s work, which just kept on getting better and better. The movie benefited from the amazing acting by the cast of Michael Brandon and Mimsy Farmer. When rock band drummer Roberto is stalked and extorted for killing another stalker, he realizes that his friends are being killed, and he is framed for their murders. Considered as a typical Argento experiment because of the baseless humor, the movie does rack up some memorable scenes, interesting camera angles, and unusual editing. Accompanied by a great music score by Enrio Morricone, Four Flies on Gray Velvet is Dario Argento’s weirdest, but not the strongest movie.

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7 Tenebrae (1982)

An American writer (Anthony Franciosa) is stalked by a serial killer in Rome, who is going around murdering people and staff associated with his book. Tenebrae is as easily regarded as one of the most violent movies that Argento ever made, and was accompanied by a wonderful musical score by Goblin. Tenebrae has some of the most gruesome and stylish killings, including creating some of the most bloody scenes for the time period. Argento keeps the viewers guessing who the killer is, keeping everyone involved throughout the spine-chilling rollercoaster. The outrageous end of the movie, when the director decides to reveal the identity of the killer in the silliest way, makes this a classic Argento movie and a must-watch for pure gore lovers.

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6 The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)

Though not tea best, The Stendhal Syndrome is still considered to be competent enough to stand as one of the stronger Argento movies during his difficult 1990s period. Starring Asia Argento and Thomas Kretschmann, the movie follows a detective that goes insane, while tracking down a notorious serial killer in Italy and becoming his victim too. One noteworthy thing about this movie was Thomas Kretschmann’s amazing acting, which is enough to give viewers goosebumps. Argento also does not disguise the identity of the killer, which makes this one of the most disturbing entries to his psycho-horror catalog. For gory and flamboyantly-directed movie lovers, this is definitely a must-watch.

5 Opera (1987)

A young opera singer (Cristina Marsillach) is stalked by a killer who wants her all to himself, and starts killing people associated with her. The storyline is considered cliché and a rip-off of Phantom of the Opera; however, the movie delivers well for being an exploitative horror film. Dario Argento’s use of inventive camera techniques, gothic environments, and extremely gruesome murder sequences add a distinct color. Having gory special effects ahead of their time, Opera is considered to be the last of Argento’s magnificent work, and a great find for old horror film lovers.


4 Deep Red (1975)

Starring David Hemmings as Marcus Daly and Daria Nicolodi as Gianna Brezzi, Deep Red is one of Dario Argento’s most critically acclaimed movies. Deep Red is often lauded by viewers for its mind-blowing and intriguing plot. Consisting of a pianist and a journalist who get involved in a web of mystery after witnessing the murder of a psychic. Deep Red is Argento’s masterpiece, which includes his signature inventive camerawork and beautiful delivery of the characters by the cast. The stylized killings with the hatchet have caught many viewers often winning, as if they witnessed an actual murder themselves. Argento masters creating fear with disturbing settings, and always includes blood gushing gore. Alongside a screeching musical score by Goblin, Deep Red has been a fan favorite even decades after its release.

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3 Suspiria (1977)

Another Argento triumph, Suspiria is often included in a battle with Deep Red by fans in deciding which movie is better. The truth is, that both movies have a different charm of their own and both could take the spot on the top. Starring Jessica Harper and Stefania Casini, Suspiria opens with a double murder which instantly hooks viewers onto the screen. The plot of the movie is simple, yet effective. For a horror movie, it includes the right amount of unease, tension, and spooky environments. The reason the movie is considered a masterpiece, is the visual captivity. It has rich colors, deep camera angles, and exceptional lighting. It is not a movie for everyone, as it gets extremely grisly and unsettling for many, as well as the typical gore appeal. However, one of the most memorable impacts the movie made was with the incredible musical score by Goblin.


2 Phenomena (1985)

The audience really gets to peek into Dario Argento’s world of madness in the 1985 cult classic, phenomenon. The film centers around Jennifer Corvino (Jennifer Connelly) who studies at a remote Swiss boarding school and has the psychic ability to communicate with insects. Through the course of the film we see Jennifer trying to use her psychic ability to find a serial killer who has been killing young women at her school. The film unveils a whole other level of insanity, to put it lightly. The hard choppy edits actually work well to maintain the confusing, yet creepy feeling that Argento intends to give to his audience.

1 Inferno (1980)

Infernos takes forward the surreal nightmare of Argento’s Suspiria. Loosely based on Thomas de Quincey’s Suspiria de Profundis, the sequel in the Three Mothers Trilogy follows Mark Elliot as he attempts to look into his sister Rose’s disappearance, who lived in an apartment that was once inhabited by a powerful witch. As with most of Argento’s films, Infernos is beautifully shot. From the long shadows, to the chilling blues, to the crimson blood, visually, Infernos is a cinematic masterpiece in the horror genre, and not many would disagree.

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