Inferno ★★★★½

I enjoy this in many ways on equal footing with Suspiria, for its progressive similarities and differences.

Also, watching the trilogy together, is it just me or is the fact that the aspect ratio for this being 1.85:1, and both its end pieces being 2.35:1 sort of like the houses of the mothers in each film - the symmetry with the dividing line being a bulkier midsection. Place the three films side by side, and you get: _-_

With Suspiria as the warm-up, Inferno dives into the heart of the story, naming names (mothers) and laying on thick the clues to the sinister conspiracy going on in Freiberg, to New York and back to Rome. The trilogy's paranoia and hopelessness bubbles here, with talk of the pipes and their echoes, the dead people buried beneath us with stories to tell that will save us if we brush up on our history, and the dark forces knowing who 'in the know' they need to target next. As the Mother of Shadows says, it's all coming crashing down again (to paraphrase).

A plethora of characters dying, all with different intentions, such as an old geezer, hateful of cats and maybe even women, or those wishing to get ahead by taking advantage of a dead person's wealth, or somebody just seeking the answers to a riddle they've read in a book. All of them have separate moral systems, but all of them know and believe and understand to some extent the horrors of the occult. Despite what they do differently to prevent this (or maybe not prevent it), they grasp the old held knowledge as having a grain of truth at least.

The best scene for me is still the Bava aided underwater sequence, with all of these old relics from the past, submerged with a poster with 'mother of shadows' written on it, telling of a previous civilization that had to undergo this type of black magic travesty. I love the philosophy behind these films, and Inferno is without a doubt in my mind the one with the most to learn from.

And I love the details, such as when in Rome during the opera listening class, the teacher has "III parte" written on the board.