• Italy Inferno


A young woman stumbles upon a mysterious diary that reveals the secrets of "The Three Mothers" and unleashes a nightmare world of demonic evil. As the unstoppable horror spreads from Rome to New York City, this unholy trinity must be stopped before the world is submerged in the blood of the innocent. (official distributor synopsis)

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English The story isn't the strong point of this film, but it's the captivating atmosphere that draws you in. Dario Argento presents you with incredible images and intriguing scenes and often gets by without many words. He lets you drown in silence, or opts for an ecstatic and nerve-racking musical accompaniment. He knew very well how to evoke horror, and Inferno is just another beautiful example of that. The interiors and exteriors are utilized to an incredible extent in favor of horror, which somewhat nods to Polanski but also to gothic horror. I need to finish the whole trilogy sometime to verify if, after the year 2000, Dario completely lost his power and taste. ()


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English My overall impression is a bit hesitant because Inferno is a considerably uneven film. On one hand, its impressiveness, style, and atmosphere cannot be denied, but on the other, it gives the impression of being confused in many aspects, so confused that I doubted the director's intention - it seems more like the magic of randomness worked. The film resembles a confused dream, a nightmare that troubles us shortly before awakening. A good choice for horror fans, but supporters of a clear plotline and explanatory endings should stay far away from Inferno. Overall impression: 60%. ()



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English Although I wholeheartedly endorse Lucio Fulci’s dictum whereby Argento is as adept as a composer of captivating scenes as he is inept as a scriptwriter, I didn’t mind the lack of story arc in this case, because Argento finally resigns himself to trying to shock us (read: annoy us) with a plot twist, presumably concocted for him by the chimpanzee from Phenomena. This one’s strictly about atmosphere and a beautiful color palette. Then again, just between you and me, the last twenty minutes or so, following the rat attack, again suffer from the highly spurious, implausible catastrophe of a script. That’s not something I’d expect to ever happen in a film by the aforementioned Fulci, not to mention Bava, Lenzi or other master directors. Argento is not my cup of tea. ()


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English Visually, this is probably Argento’s most intoxicating and beautiful film. A surreal atmosphere, beautiful colours and so little of a story that it could fit on a pinhead. I didn’t like Inferno at first, like Suspiria, but a second viewing helped me appreciate it. A piece of advice: if you’re beginning with old horror stuff from Italy, leave Argento’s witch flicks for last. Inferno is really beautiful, but there could really have been at least a little bit more of a plot, hence the four stars. ()


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English In his most expensive and most daring film, Dario Argento completely detached himself from reality and created his own phantasmagorical universe in which he gave full rein to his horror fantasies. The interior of the hotel, where most of the action takes place, is architecturally nonsensical and resembles more of a theatre stage, constantly flooded with garishly coloured lights coming from nowhere. The main characters, who change every twenty minutes, are just helpless pawns in the hands of malevolent forces and die in very unlikely, yet visually arresting ways. To evoke a dreamlike logic, Argento even instructed the actors to behave in front of the camera in a way they normally wouldn't. Inferno has been criticized by many for its incoherent and absurd plot, stupid dialogue and terrible acting. Others see it as a remarkable autobiographical dream piece in the tradition of Fellini. According to Argento, it is one of his most honest and purest films, but one that he doesn't have very good memories of. Due to a serious illness, he had to direct some scenes lying down, and was even replaced a few times by the famous Mario Bava, who was in charge of the second crew (he shot, for example, the famous scene in the flooded ballroom). The result is a pure horror symphony whose strength lies in Argento's visual virtuosity, surreal production design and a roaring rock-opera soundtrack. ()

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