The Psychic (1977)/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Psychic (1977)
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A young woman drives to the edge of a cliff in London and jumps off committing suicide. Hundreds of miles away in Rome, Italy, her daughter sees this taking place in her mind. She is a clairvoyant. Years later, we meet an older Virginia Ducci (Jennifer O'Neill) who, after dropping her husband (Gianni Garko) off at an airport, makes her way back to their home, but as she drives through the country roads, she begins to have visions once again. She sees images of an older woman with blood on her head, a beautiful young woman on a magazine, a broken mirror, a lit cigarette and a man limping in the dark. She is frightened. Fulci uses a special zoom into her eyes whenever these visions come to her. Virginia finds herself back at home, she is half asleep and a man tells her to wake up.

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Virginia talks with her psychiatrist Luca Fattori (Live Like a Cop, Die Like A Man's Marc Porel) about her visions, and claims she's seen a murder from the past. Her doctor asks why she is coming to him instead of the police. Virginia explains she trusts him more and that the police probably won't believe her. Virginia continues to have visions of a house and a woman being trapped behind a wall.

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She then leaves to goto her husband's old villa to try to restore it. While she's in one of the rooms she sees that this is the very place she saw in her mind. There's a wall which is the one where the woman was bricked up, so she takes a large pickaxe and begins to break it open. In the next scene, we see she has found a skeleton inside and the police are taking pictures. Now they need to find out just who the dead person is. The police find out that the woman found in the wall was around 25 years old. Virginia tells them that the dead woman she saw in her vision was a lot older, around 50. They are all confused by this. The police have no choice but to take Virginia's husband into custody because he owns the villa. The next day, the Italian paper has his name all over the front page. Later, Virginia receives a mysterious call from an older woman telling her she has info about who really killed the young woman in the wall.

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Virginia realizes that the young woman who was murdered must be the one from the magazine. She gets a copy of the magazine from 1972 with the young woman on the cover and it turns out its from an equestrian magazine. She finds a clue on the cover connecting it to her visions of the older man. She comes to the conclusion that it is a local equestrian owner named Giovanna Rospini (Salvatore Puntillo). The clues are now coming together nicely. Virginia decides to go visit Rospini at his home. She introduces herself as a reporter from the New York Times. When Virginia asks Rospini if he had anything to do with the woman who was killed, Rospini gets really angry and tells her to get out of his house. Virginia now suspects that he really is the one who killed the girl.

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It turns out that her husband is found innocent because the woman who died was killed while her husband was out of the country as Virginia's idea stated. The proof she finds is right on the cover of the equestrian magazine taken during a horse race. Virginia is able to get her husband out of jail, but her psychiatrist later finds that the cover of the magazine has a hidden clue that destroys Virginia's original theory. This is where the film takes a big twist and as time ticks on to the sounds of Virginia's Seven Notes Watch, things get even more thrilling....and deadly. The climax is brilliantly executed and the last shot of the film is stunning.

Seven Notes in Black is really one of Fulci's finest works of cinema not because it contains a lot of violence or gore, but because it's restrained and more about the plot than anything else. It works like a puzzle to intrigue the viewer into trying to figure things out, but its not even a typical Giallo. Its a unique work that fans of the genre will really find captivating.


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Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He is currently majoring in Communications and Interactive Media Design.

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