The Card Player sees Italian horror maestro Dario Argento moving into classic detective thriller territory in what is generally considered to be his most commercially accessible work to date.
A serial killer is on the loose in Rome, kidnapping women and using them as the stake in a series of deadly games of poker played with the police over the internet. If the police win, the victim is set free; if they lose, the victim dies and the police are rewarded with a gruesome video of the murder being committed. When a British tourist becomes involved, disgraced Irish cop John Brennan (Liam Cunningham) is sent to Rome to investigate. There, he teams up with Anna Mari (Stefania Rocca), the no-nonsense Italian detective heading up the investigation. Once they set about tracking down the killer, they are forced to play the game themselves, but the stakes are raised even higher when a police chief’s daughter (Fiore Argento) is abducted and it becomes apparent the ‘Card Player’ knows more about Anna than she would like.
Full of all the trademark elements that have earned Argento such a huge and loyal fanbase among horror aficionados, The Card Player is an innovative, modern day thriller highlighted by a dazzling set-piece set around a breathtaking ‘cat and mouse’ chase between Anna and the film’s eponymous killer.