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Inferno

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A new decade began for Argento with the release of 'Inferno' a continuation of ideas from his 1977 film 'Suspiria'.

E. Varelli is an alchemist and architect who was commissioned to build three houses for three sisters. One is in Frieburg, Germany and the other two are in Rome and New York. The three sisters are in fact The Three Mothers, a coven of evil witches who create their wickedness from the three buildings which they inhabit separately.

Irene Miracle opens the film with her submergence into a flooded room in the basement of her New York apartment building. There, she discovers a portrait of Mater Tenebrarum, Mother of Darkness, as well as a few floating corpses. The scene is superbly filmed by Argento in collaboration with the late Mario Bava who died shortly after co-supervising the special effects for this scene.

With her brother Leigh McCloskey investigating the Three Mothers with the usual zeal, the plot is really a collection of episodes in which an assortment of characters in Rome and New York meet their deaths when they try to reveal or come too near the concealed lairs of Mater Tenebraruam and Mater Lachryinarum, the Mother of Tears based in Rome.

Verdict?

Argento has said that Inferno is the most sincere and purest of his films... the mesmerising colour palettes and beautifully lit shadows and sets are the real force behind the picture, every sequence is meticulously orchestrated mini-symphony of camera movement.

The breathtaking Central Park scene where the crippled antique-seller Kazanian meets his death under a spectacular eclipse of the moon, is only one of the stylized murder sequences which make Argento's Inferno an important and respected work.

Notice any mistakes? Review

Strengths: Pure, unadulturated Euro horror.

Weaknesses? Pacing too slow for 'popcorn' spectacle horror fans.

Our rating: 8 out of 10


Review Written by Nik Allen:  Contact  |  More Reviews by Nik Allen
Inferno