Tulpa at first glance seems like to offer what most giallo fans want and have been craving for. And in many ways Tulpa comes real close but unfortunately in the end only manages to disappoint.
Style, gore, sex, and the silent black gloved killer. In the beginning of the film there is a decent buildup of tension and suspense especially with the introductory scene that sets the tone quite well. But the films already loses it's grip after thirty minutes or so and I can't quite put my finger on what caused it. The kills for example for the most part are creative although that is in large part because they are very sadistic and gruesome. These moments certainly were the highlights of the film and made me look forward to look and hunt for the possible suspects since it did made me curious about the killer and his motive. Tulpa has enough red herrings and even manage to put suspicion on the main character Lisa Boeri played by Claudia Gereni. I don't know the actress but she has that something that even when her acting is faulty or unimpressive makes you like and root for her. Undoubtedly her being attractive has to do a lot with that but it is also her charm that wins you over. It has to be why else would I be so forgiving when she blows off the guy she was trying to get a hold off a day before and almost got killed for it? Or that whenever things start to get real and bad she breaks down very quickly even when she is supposed to be cool, calculating and vicious.
I even was willing to buy all the fake mystic elements woven into the tale until all they did was undermine the seriousness of this film. I mean how can you not laugh at a character called Kiran who is played by an actor who must have thought he was in a comedy of some sorts. He keeps telling Lisa that she needs to free her Tulpa. Trust me knowing it's meaning won't make a damn difference. No offense to Nuot Arquint but he can't act and is plagued with a look so distinctive and distracting that you won't ever be able to take him seriously.
Tulpa has a duration of 84 minutes and I kid you not it seems like it takes forever to end. I was very forgiving at first since I did appreciate the attempt to build up suspense even when the director kept undermining it constantly by hopefully unintentional comedic moments. But then it gets to a point you can't overlook the flaws any more. On such a flaw is the reveal of the killer and the lack of motivation or background for the killer not to mention the fact that somehow it's tied to the whole tulpa mumbo jumbo without giving a proper hint or explanation. Yeah, I know that when it comes to thrillers and giallo's I am willing to suspend disbelief and all that. Only then you do have to do your best to make it worth wile. And this has not happened. In fact I think director Federico Zampaglione clearly is out of his depth when it comes to directing and telling a compelling story. You can't always get away with masking the lack of motivation or story with symbolism.
Tulpa starts with a bang and fizzles out into nothingness. It almost made good on it's initial promise. But in this case almost doesn't count. I can't recommend this since it will be a disappointing affair even for the hugest of giallo fans.