Before tenebrae, beyond suspiria there is... Inferno
A young man returns from Rome to his sister's satanic New York apartment house.
A young man returns from Rome to his sister's satanic New York apartment house.
Leigh McCloskey Irene Miracle Eleonora Giorgi Daria Nicolodi Sacha Pitoëff Alida Valli Veronica Lazăr Gabriele Lavia Feodor Chaliapin Jr. Leopoldo Mastelloni Ania Pieroni James Fleetwood Rosario Rigutini Ryan Hilliard Paolo Paoloni Fulvio Mingozzi Luigi Lodoli Rodolfo Lodi Dario Argento Ettore Martini
Dario Argento's Inferno, Feuertanz, Horror Infernal - Feuertanz der Zombies, Inferno - Horror Infernal, Feuertanz - Horror Infernal
Horror, the undead and monster classics Intense violence and sexual transgression horror, creepy, eerie, blood or gothic scary, horror, creepy, supernatural or frighten horror, creepy, frighten, eerie or chilling horror, gory, scary, killing or gruesome cannibals, gory, gruesome, graphic or shock Show All…
Tom Hooper should’ve gone this direction with Cats.
Overshadowed by Suspiria on the left and Tenebre on the right, Inferno is an absurd masterpiece of visual perfection. Argento’s (and Daria Nicolodi’s) descent into supernatural insanity is everything I could want from a film that changes main characters every 20 minutes and tosses narrative out the window—taking the the time to fuck my mind with eye popping colors in every frame of every shot. I’ve often said that one day Inferno will be my favorite Argento film, and that day may be here because I love it just as much as Suspiria.
For a movie that supposedly makes no sense, every single shot is perfectly planned to the last detail by an artist who meticulously paints every brush stroked sequence with intense beauty, and with Inferno, we’re treated to a cornucopia of lecherous madness, perversely displayed in a grandiose tapestry of absurd supernatural perfection.
Friendly reminder: Don’t fuck with Witches. Ever.
Staircases and cracked doors and fractured glass, luminous and dangerous colors, candelabras and cats, too.
Argento with no context. In other terms, every image will haunt the inner voids of your mind for the rest of your life.
I loved absolutely everything about this movie. The burning colors! The gels! The ancient witchcult mythology! The remoteness of it. The witch with a coven of cats (of course, cats would serve the Mother of Darkness)! Glowing eyes in the night! Creeping dread in the rotting interstitial spaces! That soundtrack thundering!
Then quiet: "Hello... Hello... Hello..." The disembodied laugh! Corpses underwater. Creeping in the nightspace.
The staring woman in the musicology class with the best movie cat (sorry, Gustaf), a pile of Satanic fluff!
Giallo pushed into an ocean of dream! The black gloves into the supernatural abyss! The living dream of it! The pure dreamstuff miasma! How slow and floating and glacial like a dream. How it…
Every viewing of Inferno is a pleasure! There aren't many films that make perfect sense in their own right and no sense whatsoever simultaneously. Argento's story is carried not through logic but by feeling and sound. A curious girl looks for a key; drops her keys, then finds a key in a secret flooded room under a basement. A letter is carried from New York to Rome by notes of classic music. Time forsakes logic, spanning different periods in different places. The written word is power and books on public display become justification for murder in the wrong hands. Words pump through buildings like blood through veins. Argento's brushstrokes bathe every scene in colourful beauty. It's an experience and a work of art.
Look, I understand that this isn’t as good as Suspiria. It’s the quiet, contemplative Suspiria even though there’s a part where a guy tries to drown a bag of cats and gets just absolutely wrecked by rats and shouts “Rats are eating me!” before getting killed by a butcher who has nothing to do with anything else in the movie and just seemed excited to get to kill somebody. (New York City, baby. Best town in da woild.) If you simply compare it to a less exciting movie than Suspiria suddenly it becomes great. Those reds and purples are starting to look real good when you compare this to The Burning. Easy. If this is what your whiffs look like,…
Sometimes, you see a film and wonder what the fuck took you so long. There's always an ache of regret when this happens, yet at the same time it's like restorative magick. An alchemical concoction you've had tucked away on some shelf to be stumbled upon one day. For I have now imbibed and seek the coven's embrace...
This movie is an absolute masterpiece and I’ve watched it SO MANY TIMES. Every time I watch it, different things stand out to me. At this point, I wouldn’t say “new” things because seriously, I’ve watched this A LOT. I figured for this review I would share the things that stood out on this particular visit...
When I was a kid, I used to read horror movie books all the time because we didn’t have any internet. In one of those huge books, I read about the underwater room scene and was absolutely fascinated and awed by the description and single accompanying picture. I wouldn’t see it for quite a few years later because DVD’s weren’t even around and sometimes…
I'm not real sure how to rate this one. On the one hand, it's arguably Argento's most visually satisfying movie. The wild, nightmarishly vivid colors of Suspiria make a return in this thematic (???) sequel, along with a real suspense and tension in many of the set pieces (particularly the ones in the first half) that you just don't often get with Argento.
But then there's the plot, which goes beyond "comically incoherent" and into "hallucinogenic/oh god what did I take" territory. I have to assume this is intentional, though, as not only does Inferno keep switching between ostensible protagonists, none of them ever get a clue what the hell is happening.
My favorite line of the movie comes late, with one of the villains saying to the surviving hero something like "surely you've figured out who I am by now?" And the hero just shakes his head and goes "no!"
"This old building is just full of secrets like that."
Freed from the constraints of a conventional plot (come on, are any of you really into Argento's plot lines anyway?), this gets right to the meat of peak Italian horror: nightmare-logic set-pieces! There's no Jessica Harper to consistently guide us through what it turns out is the real star of the movie: an imposing apartment building, the interiors nauseatingly saturated in Argento's favored purple/blue/red and angular features hovering in the foreground. Architecture and design is often prominent in Argento, but here it even takes part in the violence with killer curtains, slicing door knobs and guillotine windows. The passageways are dangerous, and the characters should know better, but they always probe and dig and pass through doors and windows and go down rabbit holes hoping to find...what? As with most dark fairy tales, it's only ever death and loss.
So here it is. This is the live score I wrote for Inferno. Performed live in a movie theatre in Toronto last October but now with plague-life reducing us to strictly home viewing, I've assembled a revised/improved version so you can stream it at your own convenience.
First Off: Play As Loud As Humanly Possible - OR - HEADPHONES!
Actually, headphones would be my go to choice, anything to ensure the bass is overwhelming and all details can be heard 100%.
If you are playing it off your TV speakers, make sure to set them to MUSIC, not Movie/Night/Whatever Mode.
Heads up: It is a so-so quality video but for all of you scouring YouTube for obscure classics, this…
Not Quite Hoop-Tober: Day 19
Finally, I found a Dario Argento film I'm not virtually tripping over myself trying to watch again. Inferno is the spiritual successor to Suspiria, but while they share a similar lineage this feels more like the unloved second child whose parents just weren't trying as hard. It's still an enjoyable watch—it still had good parents even if they seem less inspired—but some of the magic is missing.
It wouldn't be an Argento film if it weren't overflowing with style, and here the film definitely delivers. There's an absolutely wonderful blue and purple color palette (showcased in the poster) which elevates the hallmark almost-surrealism of all Argento's giallos. And there's another thing it's overflowing with: the…