Directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani know their giallos, but Amer is little more than affected homage, a work that duplicates the style and hothouse psychosexual passions of its ‘70s predecessors with such self-consciousness that little unsettling emotion emerges. There’s no conventional story per se, as Cattet and Forzani’s tale offers up a triptych of incidents in the life of a brunette – first as a small girl in her parents’ house, where she finds a timepiece (owned by her witch grandmother) that seems to animate her dead grandfather, then as an adolescent besieged by sexualized advances at a seaside town, and finally as a grown woman in a remote, desolate manor house. These sequences are awash in the aesthetic signatures of giallos: close-ups of eyes, gloved hands, hair, mouths, crotches, sweating skin, and bodies in ecstasy and in direct contact with heavily symbolic elements (thorns, water, blades, etc.), images which are drenched in deep, lurid blue, red and green color filters. The film’s cornucopia of visual devices (split screens are also prevalent) are executed with grace and precision, and they do manage to express a sense of carnal mania, and of the protagonist’s pleasurable and painful passions. Yet they do so only in the abstract, as a lack of any compelling narrative, character or thematic substance ultimately leaves the proceedings feeling like a technically impressive but remote exercise in conceptual period-piece genre imitation.