Kathy is not the most popular nor the most attractive girl at school and because of that fact, she finds herself the target of bullies. One night while playing a prank on Kathy, it all goes very wrong and Kathy gets into an accident, finding herself in the hospital on life support while the bullies go about their everyday lives. Whether it be fate or divine intervention or something else altogether, Kathy finds new life by possessing the body of Eva, a new girl at school and as such, is able to take her revenge on those who did her wrong.
Simply stated, Aenigma is not the best to ever come from Lucio Fulci but it is not that bad a film either and though the horror genre has seen a lot of revenge tales much in line with this one being realized upon the big screen, it still manages to entertain as one cannot help but empathize with Kathy and eagerly await the coming bloodbath. To that effect, Fulci does not disappoint and as Kathy’s wrath is visited upon those who deserve it, it is done so in bloody and inventive fashion, the most gruesome of which involves one girl being killed by some very large slugs. It was kind of silly that the girl simply did not get up and shake them off, thereby saving her life in the process but without any valid explanation, one can say that she was perhaps paralyzed by fear or Kathy made it so the girl could not get up. Whatever the situation, it was horrific and just one example of Fulci giving viewers a good bit of fright. Said fright would continue on and while being slightly more gruesome than it would be scary, Fulci would create a fair bit of suspense leading up to it all, continuing on after each murder until that finale which ended up being quite good.
For those that starred within, the material despite being cliched was solid and Fulci would get the best out of them, specifically Lara Naszinski who played Eva, host to the comatose Kathy. Naszinski would be front and center for the bulk of the film, only stepping aside when a bit of death would make its way to the screen. Factor in a little obsession and jealousy, a side romance and a bit of tragedy as Kathy’s mother does what she has to and all in all, the entirety of this picture would entertain from start to finish.
Though there would be horror aplenty throughout, and aside from the slugs and the odd moment of fright, there was little to be fearful about which was not a bad thing in this particular case. Fulci does not have to scare the pants off of his audience to deliver a good chunk of horror and while Aenigma may not have seen the man at the top of his game, it is not all that bad. It definitely could have been more and it could have distanced itself from others of its ilk like Carrie and so forth but for what it is worth, it is not a bad way to spend a night.
3 out of 5