Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

The Card Player


Starring: Stefania Rocca, Liam Cunningham and Silvio Muccino
Arrow Video
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 22 March 2010

A young woman is abducted, and police detective Anna Mari is forced to play a form of on-line poker against the kidnapper for the woman's life. Initially, the chief inspector had refused to involve the police in manipulative games, which culminated in the first captive being killed in front of their eyes via a video link which the experts cannot trace. But even when Anna convinces him they should play to buy more time, she knows she is no poker player. Aided by a disgraced Irish cop called John Brennan in the investigation to apprehend the killer the media has dubbed The Card Player, Anna soon realises she will need an expert player. However, somehow the killer knows that someone is playing in her stead. It isn't long before Anna becomes a target herself, and the killer isn't finished playing yet...

The Card Player is one of a number of current DVD releases of Dario Argento films from Arrow Video. Horror aficionados might know him through his older films such as Demons and Suspiria, or more recently by his contribution to the Masters of Horror anthology series. However, he has delved more deeply into police procedural murder mysteries/thrillers - a genre which he reportedly feels most comfortable with.

This is a good representation of his dramatic suspense material, with Stefania Rocca and Liam Cunningham both powerful in their central roles. The use of computer crime, although heavily on the increase, is usually in the form of embezzlement, so the idea of the computer application being the unwitting channel for crime threw me back to the excellent Lynda LaPlante scripted Killer Net, in which a CD ROM game was being controlled by a third party. This being the case, the film would also have worked well as an episode of any number of police detective serials.

The plot motors along at a cracking pace, and the climatic scene is gripping, but I have to say it didn't take much reasoning to work out who the killer was, particularly when a time discrepancy is explained.

Any fan of Dario Argento's work should welcome this release, as it contains a double-sided sleeve, a collector's booklet, and a poster. The disc itself contains a Making of... featurette, a gallery and ten minutes of trailers for his other films.


Ty Power

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£9.99 (
£9.99 (
£9.99 (
£10.47 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.