Insanity at it's best we have a crazy plot but with a much more mature director, especially at the beginning. A visual forepart of Swiss alps scenery, and in particular a waterfall, make this the 'nature version' of the Argento deaths. Often I felt the 'I've seen this girl's head fall through a glass window before' but got over it as I got way that our killer was rather keen on impalement and decapitation. Jennifer's sleep walking visions are intensely effective and appear almost nightmarish for the viewer. Often the sub-plots hit dead ends throughout the story and some things that occur in the beginning didn't connect to the end. The film falls apart in the latter half, and I preferred the story buildup to the absurd climax, but I had fun there too. A monkey wielding a straight razor is not a bad day in my opinion.
Phenomena doesn't really care that it doesn't make sense or that it leaves near dead plots, it's just a usual Argento; great soundtrack, great visuals, and interesting deaths. There's of course the inevitable similarities between it and Suspiria, but really only in plot. The two girls are Americans who go to a boarding school run by strict women but other than that the two scenarios vary greatly. Suzy is naive and doesn't do that much to get out of her situation where Jennifer is constantly pushing and has an ability above the typical final girl unfortunate. After seeing this its not hard to conclude what scares the director, in common theme I feel that boarding schools with strict cruel headmasters (Suspiria, Phenomena), and faces with distorted features that expose buck baby teeth (Phenomena, Deep Red) give him quite a scare. Or at least what he attributes to be the most effective. Either or Phenomena is a fabulously absurd eighties horror film, for any fan of Argento or for those looking for a light on the camp and high on the strange film.