The Double Hour is a thriller with elements of romance, mystery and horror. Or maybe it’s a mysterious horror film that includes thrills and romance. However you classify it, it’s a strange, chaotic experience.
Sonia (Ksenia Rappoport) is a Slovenian immigrant living in Turin, Italy, who attends a speed-dating event. The last man on her list is an easygoing ex-cop named Guido (Filippo Timi). They begin a tentative relationship, and one day he takes her to the isolated, treasure-filled estate where he now works security. The date is interrupted by a violent robbery, leaving Sonia deeply traumatized.
Her deteriorating mental state allows director Giuseppe Capotondi to dig into his cinematic toy box, and he stages some creepy scenes in Sonia’s dark apartment and the hotel where she works. It often feels like a great ghost story or a cousin to the classic French shocker Diabolique.
Rappoport beautifully handles everything Capotondi throws at her, always leaving the audience slightly confused about Sonia’s emotions and motives. Guido is also tough to pin down, although he is what passes for a straightforward character in this film.
Capotondi’s ambition eventually gets the better of him, and The Double Hour stuffs too many genres into one (relatively short) film — you’ll half expect someone to put on a cowboy hat or burst into song, just for good measure. This anything-goes uncertainty is exciting for a while, but it’s all the movie has to offer.
The final resolution is easily forgotten, more of an afterthought than anything else. The fun is in the twisting, absurd journey, not the destination.
The Double Hour: 2 1/2 stars out of 4
Not rated Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Italian with English subtitles