6.7/10
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122 user 156 critic

Inferno (1980)

R | | Horror | 2 April 1980 (USA)
An American college student in Rome and his sister in New York investigate a series of killings in both locations where their resident addresses are the domain of two covens of witches.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Eleonora Giorgi ...
Sara
...
Elise De Longvalle Adler
...
Kazanian (as Sacha Pitoeff)
...
Carol, the caretaker
Veronica Lazar ...
...
...
Professor Arnold / Dr. Varelli (as Feodor Chaliapin)
Leopoldo Mastelloni ...
John, the Butler
...
James Fleetwood ...
Cook
Rosario Rigutini ...
Man
Ryan Hilliard ...
Shadow
...
Music Teacher
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Storyline

Young poetess Rose Elliot buys a book from a local antique dealer, a diary in Latin of an architect, E. Varelli. She learns of the Three Mothers, and believes her apartment building is one of their houses. She pleads her brother Mark, who is studying musicology in Rome, to come, because she is afraid. Mark's friend Sara reads her letter, which he left behind in class, and discovers the school is run by the Mater Lacrimarum, and is murdered for this knowledge. The house of Mater Suspiriorum has already been destroyed, and by the time Mark arrives in New York City, he is investigating his sister's murder. Written by Scott Hutchins <scottandrewh@home.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Terror that's hotter than hell! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 April 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Inferno  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby Stereo) (5.0 Surround Sound) (L-R)| (5.0 Surround Sound) (L-R)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dario Argento once said that the gentleman who provided the live ants used in the film collected them by walking around in the park with a vacuum and literally sucking them up from the ground. He would later retrieve them from the vacuum bag once on set. See more »

Goofs

During the cat attack, a human hand can be seen throwing some cats at the actress. See more »

Quotes

Sara: May I ask a strange question?
Mark Elliot: How strange?
See more »


Soundtracks

Mater Tenebrarum
Composed by Keith Emerson'
Keyboards by Keith Emerson'
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Stuff Of Nightmares
29 May 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

This is a film about witches, ancient alchemy, and death. The atmosphere is Gothic and medieval. But the setting is modern. Most scenes take place in small, stylish interior spaces. For lighting, Argento uses the glow from indirect sources (mostly blue, red, and orange hues), and alternates this with darkness. In combination with the lighting, the film's sound effects, which alternate with silence, are appropriately spooky. And Keith Emerson's soundtrack, with all that organ music, contributes to the Gothic tone. One of the best parts of the entire film is the rock-opera opus from the chorus at the film's end, with that great beat, and lyrics that are indecipherable.

The nightmarish atmosphere, while maybe not quite as stunning as in "Suspiria", is more than adequate to induce suspense, anticipation, and a sense of danger. From out of the darkness and stillness comes "death", in all its horrific cruelty. As a "horror" film, "Inferno" is fairly pure, in that the plot is more or less self-contained. There are only brief references to the "real" world, outside the confines of the story.

The film's plot is indeed thin, and functions really as an excuse for the actors to move from one atmospheric set to the next. The script does not require great acting skills, mercifully, since great acting is nowhere to be found.

Of the various Argento films I have seen, "Inferno" is perhaps my least favorite. It does not have the conviction of Argento's other works. It seems more like a half-hearted sequel, an afterthought, to "Suspiria". Like most sequels, I find it less satisfying than the original, the soundtrack notwithstanding. Still, for Argento fans, "Inferno" is a must-see, if for no other reason than for purposes of comparison.


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