Inferno

Inferno ★★★★

Inferno is Argentos second fairy-tale horror and one of the most absurd sequels ever made. Make no mistake, Inferno spends its opening minutes connecting itself as directly to Suspria as possible. In that sense there's some decent expanision on what was actually going on in Suspiria done through the plot of Inferno, but Inferno does ultimately raise more questions than it answers. Therefore it is hard watch Inferno and not think of Suspiria, or even compare it. This might be the films biggest weakness because, Suspiria not withstanding, Inferno is one of Argentos best realized nightmares. The films script is either its greatest strenght or weakness as well, hard to decide. Spending its first half juggling three main characters makes for a fair amount of confusion, but also geneuine tension. Who will be the first to meet a grisly fate?

Inferno is a considerably more gothic work than anything Argento had done previously, with its classical score (often very misplaced, other times excelently used) and its grand guginol set designs. It is fitting as Inferno seems to be obessed with architecture. The appartment building becoming a character in itself and indeed an embodiment of evil. It is also completly nonsensical, make no mistake. Side plots occur then disapear with no proper explanation, scenes sometimes feel out of order and there's a myriad of throw away moments that are never explained. But because of the stylish art direction (stylish to the point of almost being parodical at times, such as the red glowing library shelf) the film induces a dream-like state from its very first scene. It is a bold move to take the fairy-tale setting and transpose it from the german back woods to a New York apartment complex, and while it does not work quite as well as in Suspria Infernos final ten, or so, minutes are among Argentos very best work.

Also this is one of the coolest posters I have ever seen. That artwork is better than the entire film