Riddled with secret but horrid suspicion, the young American poet, Rose Elliot, writes to her brother and musicology student in Rome, Mark, about the startling findings in the dark and dank basement of her New York Art Deco apartment building. Pivoting around the cryptic knowledge hidden in the leather-bound book entitled "The Three Mothers", Rose is convinced that her aristocratic but damned abode is, in fact, an ancient coven for Mater Tenebrarum, the malevolent Mother of Darkness. Little by little, as the siblings delve deeper and deeper into the occult, a mysterious disappearance and an endless string of gruesome killings will bring Mark closer and closer to a surreal nightmare. Where do the long and shadowy corridors of Rose's building lead?Written by
For some of the exterior location shoots in Italy footage of New York City, skyscrapers were superimposed in the background to make it appear like the film's New York City setting. See more »
After finding the word 'MATER' written on the leather case, in the next scene Mark is unpacking books and placing them in piles on the desk. Poor editing makes it appear he is removing them from a case with the storage capacity of Felix the Cat's bag. See more »
There are mysterious parts in that book, but the only true mystery is that our very lives are governed by dead people.
See more »
For its UK cinema release cuts were made to shots of a cat eating a live mouse. The Fox video was cut by 20 secs with the same cinema cut plus an additional edit to a closeup of a cat's head being hit against a chair. The cuts were fully waived for the 2010 Arrow DVD. See more »
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.
52 of 61 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this