Inferno

Inferno ★★★½

As always, plot in Argento films is hardly the main worry. Instead, gorge on some mesmeric visuals, pure colour and a great score. Argento always creates an amazing environment in all his films, not interested in realism but instead creating an atmosphere that’s both frightening yet beautiful. I feel like that’s something a lot of modern horror misses - that it’s ok to have pure colour in your film, or to build sets that exist solely for claustrophobia and scares. Perhaps thanks to the rise of found footage, there seems to be an insistence on realism in modern horror. Too many films are just bland to look at, mostly lit too dark and filled with a palette of greys. Not Argento films, he remembers that horror is a visceral experience and creates totally immersive films.

There’s some great scares in this, especially the opening with the girl losing her jewellery in the water and taking about eight tries to pick it up. Unfortunately the film also feels LONG. Probably because, perhaps taking a page out of Psycho, the character(s) who we assume is the protagonist gets killed about three times. First we think it’s the first girl, then bam, she’s gone. Then another girl arrives, she’s gone. Then ANOTHER one somewhere in New York dies. What this amounts to is a film that feels incredibly stop-start, about four times everything checks itself back into it’s original equilibrium and the film feels like it’s starts over again. Thus, it drags hard. It’s still good, one of Argento’s most visually impressive films no doubt, but shaving off twenty minutes or so and/or a character or two would have allowed this to feature in the upper echelon of his work.

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