The Film (3.5/5)
Lucio Fulci's The Psychic (Sette note in nero, Seven Notes in Black) is considered by many fans to be the maestro's finest work in the giallo genre. The film is typical giallo, although it lacks the trademark violence often found in other gialli (or other Fulci films), it is still quite an engaging thriller from Fulci, and is accompanied by one a memorable score by the composers Franco Bixio, Vince Tempura, and Fabio Frizzi.
The film begins in 1959. A woman drives to a secluded spot over the cliffs of dover, while her daughter Virginia is on a field trip. The woman has come to these cliffs to end her life, and as she commits her final act, Virginia has visions of her Mother's death.
The film then picks up 18 years later. Virginia (Jennifer O'Neill), is now grown up, and married to a man named Francesco. After dropping Francesco at the airport, Virginia drives home, but is interrupted by visions of a grisly murder. She decides to seek help from her psychiatrist friend Dr. Lucca Fattori (Marc Sorel). Virginia then heads off to the villa that Francesco and her are redecorating. She begins to recognize some of the surroundings from her visions, and in a fit, breaks down a wall and discovers a skeleton inside. The police believe Francesco to be the murderer, and take him into custody. Virginia then sets out on her own independent investigation to prove her husbands innocence....
Severin has presented Fulci's The Psychic in a 1:85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The film for the most part looks fantastic, and is only hampered by some cloudiness in the darker scenes.
The Psychic is presented with Dolby Digital 2.0 transfer in English. For the most part the sound is very clear, and there is not a lot of noise on this track. The dialogue is completely audible throughout, although some of the dubbing is a bit off, but this is probably more to do with the source material then Severin's transfer of the film.
The extras on this disc are few, but are for the most part interesting. The main extra is called Voices from the Black, and is a compilation of scenes from the Psychic juxtaposed with audio interviews with Dardano Sacchetti (writer), Massimo Lentini (costume designer), and Bruno Micheli (editor). The interviews themselves give an uncompromising vision of the director, and an outstanding overview of the making of The Psychic. The only other extra is the American trailer for the film presented in 16:9 widescreen.
Lucio Fulci only directed a handful of giallo's in his career, and this is one of his finest. While not quite reaching the heights of his earlier giallo masterpiece Lizard in a Woman's Skin, this is still a tightly plotted, completely engaging film from Fulci. Jennifer O'Neill gives a fantastic performance, as does Marc Sorel. Severin has for the first time distributed The Psychic uncut in the U.S., and has delivered a fantasic DVD to boot. If you only know Fulci from his gorier early 80’s picture, then the Psychic would be a good place to start exploring what else Fulci has to offer.