3 Sisters

3 Sisters ★★★★

Recent attempts of making gialli seem to go one out of two ways; they’re either great-looking, super stylized affairs that make little or no narrative sense or they end up feeling like poor pastiches of the great films of the 70’s. The latter ones usually tick the boxes of the Blood and Black Lace lookalike killer, J&B, scantily clad women and poor acting.

In The Three Sisters director Dáire McNab tries to bring the giallo formula to modern day Ireland and manages to find the right balance between interesting visuals and a cohesive narrative whilst not overdosing on the trappings of the genre.

The Three Sisters is a genuinely great attempt to make a 2015 giallo. Shot on a shoe-string budget over the course of two and a half years, it still manages to deliver a great giallo feel, some great set pieces, editing and visuals. I’m sure that the look is partly a consequence of the films' budget, but it actually works in its favor since it hasn’t got that slick and polished look that make some of the higher budget giallo attempts look more like crime shows on tv. The script is also better than average and features some good red herrings and twists and turns. The acting is usually one of my biggest concerns when it comes to low budget features, but McNab has managed to find some genuine talent and all the lead characters fare really well. The fact that Eurocult legend Giovanni Lombardo Radice is involved is just a bonus.

So how about its influences? You can obviously tell it’s inspired by the gialli of the golden era. In some instances you can tell by which film or by certain shots, but McNab makes sure to never overdo it and the film never gets reduced to the check-list of giallo clichés that is seen in lesser films.

All in all, a very impressive independent low-budget giallo. I was fortunate enough to come across a screener of the film since it’s not out on general release yet, but if you’re a giallo fan, make sure to add this to you watchlist and keep an eye out for it. You don’t want to miss it!