on April 11, 2000
The soundtrack - it's Nabucco by Verdi alternating with Keith Emerson, who at one point does a twangy modern rock version of the famous Slave's Chorus, Va Pensiero! This is a film of magical, atmospheric and occasionally very gory set-pieces rather than any logical narrative, so anyone looking for a pacy plot where everything is explained at the end will be severely disappointed. The story deals with the second of the Three Mothers first mentioned in Suspiria and flits between New York, where a young woman discovers that the Art Deco apartment block where she lives harbours a deep, dark secret, and Rome, where her brother is a music student who is blissfully unaware that he and his friends are about to enter a world of pain. Watching it is like being immersed in a deliciously scary nightmare where you never quite understand what's going on.
on February 24, 2000
This is my own favourite Argento movie, but if you try and work out the plot it will drive you nuts. It's best viewed as a dark and incredibly gory fairytale and companion-piece to Suspiria. Irene Miracle becomes curious about the history of the old New York mansion block where she lives. Big mistake, but oh forget the logic. Just lap up the marvellous set-pieces: a swim through an underwater apartment (why is it flooded? don't even ask!), a witchy teenager and a cat who materialise during a music tutorial, a slasher murder set to the Slave's Chorus from Nabucco, a rat attack in Central Park - I could go on but see it for yourself. The soundtrack is an audacious blend of Verdi and - wait for it - Keith Emerson. Sheer bliss.
on June 6, 2011
This Blu Ray edition of INFERNO is with no doubt the best ever on the market today. Gorgeous colors and accurate ones : it exactly reminded me the movie I had the chance to see in the theaters some years ago - which was not the case with the previous DVD. The sound is astonishing as well, giving Keith Emerson's music some grandeur (the final scene).
As for the film, for those who don't know yet the eerie world of INFERNO, just don't pay attention to the narration and logic, as there is few. INFERNO is a variation on fear, You just have to let yourself sweep away by the sounds, colors & flashes of macabre + violence in a very operatic way.
Dario Argento has made some of the most captivating, brilliant horror movies I have ever seen, and I absolutely love and devour horror movies, old and new. "Inferno" is no exception; it holds your attention from start to finish, and if you weren't fascinated by it, you have to be a pretty dull person. So the plot is not crystal clear,who cares? Argento has never specialized in the plot department. But, contrary to what many people think, Argento's movies DO have substance are not just fanciful exercises in style. Argento, more than any horror director I've ever seen, evokes a sense of the marvelous and otherworldly:his films point away from the commonplace, the ordinary, and push us in the direction of the unknown. Half the people who bash this movie probably couldn't take their eyes off it while it was actually playing. True, some of the dialogue is ludicrous and the scene at the end with the 'grim reaper' was absurd, but the sheer magic and intrigue of the movie make its flaws unimportant. Argento is to horror cinema what Lovecraft, Poe or Kafka are to horror literature. I find it hard to believe that the 'fans' who dismiss this movie because of qualms they have over it 'not making sense' or the incomprehensible nature of the plot were Argento fans to begin with: the premise of the movie is neither more nor less ludicrous than the plots of his other movies. Argento's work is not meant to be logically coherent or rational, but to penetrate the mystical, shadowy side of existence. You will never see a more visually stunning or visionary horror movie. Don't just rent this movie, buy it.
on November 22, 2001
Phenomena hooked me right away, even the momentary twinge I felt when the monkey made its appearance (I hate monkeys, especially monkeys in "horror" movies) was short lived; this monkey is actually a device to move the plot along and never overstayed its welcome. The tension continues to build up, right up to the end, which was a nice surprise. Many elements from prior Argento films make appearances here and everything just works.
Inferno is the third and final chapter of the Deep Red trilogy and the second and, so far, final chapter in the proposed Three Mothers trilogy. Inferno suffers from the "Jan Brady" syndrome. She is beautiful and accomplished in her own right, but she follows an even more beautiful and equally accomplished sister. It is easy to be so dazzled by Suspiria that Inferno is obscured in her shadow. But upon a second viewing, the scales fall and the ears become unplugged and Inferno proves to be her sisters equal. Its simply that Suspiria is a fairy-tale whereas Inferno is a symphony.
Phenomena includes a trailer, a couple of music videos, the first of which is absolutely mesmerizing, and an interview.
Inferno includes an introduction by Dario Argento, that unfortunately comes off as an apology, a trailer, and an interview segment.
This gift set, in fact, all three volumes of the Dario Argento collection, represent a tremendous value. Just compare the price of buying these two DVD's separately. This is now the DVD's golden age. Enjoy it while it lasts.
on November 4, 2006
In the wake of "Suspiria", where Dario Argento fully committed to the visual and aesthetic possibilities of the horror genre, narrative took a back seat. Gone were the days of the tightly plotted whodunits such as "Bird with the Crystal Plumage" and "Deep Red". "Inferno" is symptomatic of a cinematic approach in which narrative is subservient to and in service to increasingly grand visual set pieces. "Inferno" more so than any horror film marked the eventual path the genre would take in the 1980's. "Inferno" isn't however devoid of narrative, but making sense of it is not the paramount concern of the spectator. The theme of alchemy acts as an effective metaphor for the film as whole, as Argento throws in tried and tested ingredients to create something that is startlingly dark and baroque. "Inferno's" narrative problems however are not it's undoing, it's as if Argento realises by the very nature of the genre that his major concern is the realisation of another world; in this case a gloomy and gothic netherworld in which the forces of evil are much closer than one expects. Full of spectacular and senseless violence "Inferno" reconstitutes the gothic form (made quaint and redundant by Hammer) and gives it a unique Italian sensibility.
on April 23, 2014
I reluctantly give this 3 stars. This just comes up short after the intriguing style of Suspiria. There are moments of visual appeal but overall it just feel disjointed and broken with most of the 'gore' factor coming off extremely cheap and goofy. Typically I accept those gore elements because they are only mere distractions that highlight plot twists in Argento's works, but in this film it only adds to the sloppy mess.
In the end I just don't buy this as a decent or meaningful second act after Suspiria... most know that Argento's concepts of The Three Mothers trilogy just failed completely. Why did he even bother? It was a grand idea but he failed in pulling it off. Suspiria is a classic that should have just stood on it's own.
Re watching this I noticed horrible frame rate, instead of fluid movement there are many scenes where there is that lag type visual effect, I'll have to compare my DVD copy to see if it suffers the same problems. I'm not very impressed with this transfer.
I'm not a religious person, more of a humanist... believe in reality but once when watching this movie I had a weird experience while watching the ending. Typically I laugh at the lame ending but I was really paying attention to the vibe etc, when death shows up a very dark message kind of popped into my mind, "welcome death into your heart", now I was just relaxing playing my guitar like usual and not depressed or any other strange mental activity going on and it creeped me out to the point of wanting to toss all Argento's movies into the trash because of possible visual and audible masking of subliminal messages. Seriously weird... I don't want to welcome death in any form into my life while I'm still living. It makes me want to research possible subliminal masking in movies.
I've come to realize it's not so much Argento that I like but his cinematographers much like I concluded about Ridley Scott. If you observe his choice of cinematographers you can see a clear patern of visual art quality to his films. So in short most of what Argento fans atribute to HIS talents are actually the talents of the cinematographers and film editors. Take away his best collaborators and you get crap like Mother Of Tears, Phenomena and his other lesser works.
on December 7, 2005
Well as most of you already know, you don't watch Dario Argento's movies for substance. You watch them for style. This movie delivers with bright vibrant colors and imagery, hooded figures, devils, beautiful women, and a really mean hot dog vendor. I find myself drawn to watch this movie over and over again, if only for the neon lit rooms and underwater lairs,Argento has displayed throughout.
The plot, involving a brothers search for his missing sister in a house of evil, is a follow up to Argento's Suspiria(another much lauded film) that follows the tale of the three sisters( a witch cult or something even more sinister-of course never fully explained)
If it's explanation your looking for, go elsewhere, but if your looking to be entertained by vivid kills and unusual set pieces,you might just want to set up shop in the House of Inferno.
on January 12, 2014
Again Blue underground has also released INFERNO on blu-ray in a brand new HD transfer in 7.1 surround sound
as well as the usual 5.1 Digital surround sound mix
much better picture and audio quality than the old Anchor bay release
plus theres 2 new interviews on this blu-ray version that were not on the Anchor bay release
and interview with Actor Leigh McCloskey and Irene miracle, both go for about 14mins each
they both talk about their experiences acting on the film set of Inferno, very interesting
plus the featurette with Dario argento and Lamberto Bava is also included from the Anchor bay release
so this Blue underground blu-ray version of INFERNO
is a much better release than the old Anchor bay version from years ago
Definitely time for an upgrade, scrap the old anchor bay release
and get this new blue underground blu-ray
Definitely worth the money.
i gave it 5 stars
Inferno is the second film of Dario Argento's unfinished "The Three Mothers" trilogy (while Suspiria is the first film). This film is classic Argento with its brilliant cinematography, abrasive yet eerie soundtrack (which seems out of place in certain scenes), brutal/bizarre deaths and sub par acting. Argento has stated that the actors aren't the focus of his films; rather the environment, mood, story and technical aspects are the potent force behind his masterpieces.
One thing about this movie that I found totally surreal and almost fantasy like was the lighting. The illumination in this giallo creates an ambient and nebulous setting, which is very unique. The light gels and/or set design in Inferno paint a mood in just about every scene. These moods vary from precarious (yellow) to foreboding (blue) then tranquil (green) to wrath (red) and back to enigmatic (purple). This type of movie making magic really plays a huge part in the film. I've shown Inferno to people before and they might not have liked the movie, but were impressed with the lighting and cinematography.
As for the plot, well it is somewhat lackluster. Mark, who is schooling in Europe, receives a letter from his sister Rose, who lives in New York. Rose's letter has a sense of bereavement to it, in regards to the apartment she is living. Rose believes that there are some clairvoyant or supernatural forces at work. Therefore, this sends Mark to The Big Apple to console his sister. However, this is the beginning of Mark's disconsolate hardships. He seems to be putting a puzzle together that doesn't want to solved.
Inferno might have to be witnessed more than once to fully digest what has transpired. However, I have seen it about a dozen times and I still don't know if I fully "get it". In other words, the movie can be a bit confusing. There are also some parts of the film that "drag on", but it doesn't take away from the overall effect of the movie. One of the best scenes is the underwater sequence, which is just plain eerie. There is one scene that involves cats. I love cats and having them as pets, might make this scene a bit hard to watch. Nevertheless, many aspects of Argento's films have a "pseudo-fake" quality about them, so you always know in the back of your head that what is happening on the screen isn't real.
As formally noted, Dario Argento's "The Three Mothers" trilogy is currently uncompleted. However, the third film is supposed to be completed and released by October 2007. The name of the movie is "The Third Mother". I do hope this is fact and not a rumor.