A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.
A young man tries to help a teenage European girl who escaped from a clinic hospital after witnessing the murder of her parents by a serial killer and they try to find the killer before the killer finds them.
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
Nancy Allen was offered the role of Rose Elliot when James Woods was in talks to be in the film, but had to turn the role down due to prior commitments. See more »
When the power begins going on and off in Sara's apartment, the music continues to start and stop as if a CD was playing. Since she is playing a record on a turntable, there would be slowing down and speeding up as the power goes in and out. See more »
Have you ever heard of the Three Sisters?
You mean those black singers?
No, I'm talking about mythology.
Hold on, if you're talking about spooks and stuff, I don't believe in any of that.
How can you be so sure?
I don't believe in such things, that's all, and without any philosophical discussion.
Then what do you believe in?
In whatever I can see and touch.
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The movie was released on home video in the United States in 1985 by Key Video (owned by 20th Century Fox) completely uncut with the running time of 107 minutes. However, the box featured a typo that listed the running time for the video to be 83 minutes. This error has led to the urban myth that Fox cut 25 minutes from the film for it's American release. The Anchor Bay DVD release of Inferno is likewise the complete version of the film but with a new re-mastered widescreen transfer. 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.
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