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A young woman stumbles upon a mysterious diary that reveals the secrets of `The Three Mothers` and unleashes a nightmare world of demonic evil. As the unstoppable horror spreads from Rome to New York City, this unholy trinity must be stopped before the world is submerged in the blood of the innocent. Written and directed by Dario Argento, INFERNO is considered to be the sequel to his classic SUSPIRIA.
'Argento At His Very Best!' --DVD Maniacs
'Hypnotically Entertaining... A Worthy Follow-Up That In Some Ways Exceeds The Original!' --Cinefantastique
'A Dazzling, Stylish Feast Loaded With Some Of Argento's Strongest Visual Strokes of Genius!' --Mondo Digital
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Architecture features prominently as a plot device not unlike in Rosemary's Baby from a decade earlier. I assume Argento was influenced by it. Much of the movie takes place inside the lurid somewhat neon interiors of the New York building. Despite its association with evil, the young woman insists on plumbing its depths all alone in the dark...
Some gruesome murders do indeed take place at least one of which makes no sense but is still scary and gruesome. The ending isn't so scary though which is why four stars instead of five.
With that being said, while I would recommend Suspiria to a first time Argento viewer, Inferno is actually the last of his good films which I'd recommend. While Suspiria tried to have somewhat of a plot, Inferno's plot is pretty weak and sometimes hard to follow. I think another problem people have with this film is while its a sequel to Suspiria and has a similar look and feel, its a very different film, this film can't be approached as a sequel. It also further moves away from his early films in that instead of using the normal Goblin soundtrack it uses a Keith Emerson score which has a more piano/classical music feel to it. I actually hated the film the first time I watched it, but every time I've seen it since the plot gets clearer, the visuals get better and I love the film more and more. It seems that many of the Argento's I loved on the first watch can't even come close to holding up on rewatches like this film.
As for the Bluray release, the transfer is beautiful. Of course I'm comparing this to the Anchor Bay / Blue Underground (2007) DVD release and it looks like a completely different film. If you have those older disks this is well worth the upgrade. As for the reviewer who complains that this release isn't as up to par as Tron, I've not seen Tron so I can't comment on that, but usually the italian films from this era use a cheaper film stock so the original film quality wouldn't have been as good as tron (I don't know if Inferno is this same way or if its BU's fault, the transfer looks beautiful to me).
The supplements are few but good.
The trailer seems to be a straight transfer from the SD disk, it should be watched only after the film since its full of spoilers, I do find it intersting just how much the trailer tries to make this a fast paced horror film instead of the slow atmospheric film it truly is.
There is an interview with Argento and L.Bava, this also seems to be a SD transfer from the Anchor Bay disk. Its worth watching as well, especially for the sections where it talks about M. Bava having a part in the special effects, in a way this is one of the last films the great Bava worked on before he died. His visuals/effects work very well with Argento's vision.
There are two new interviews with the brother and sister in the film (Leigh McCloskey and Irene Miracle). Both of these interviews are about 15 minutes each and I found them interesting. I do wish they would have been longer.
Overall if you're an inferno fan and have the older Anchor Bay / non SE Blue Underground disk then this is an essential upgrade, the transfer looks great and its like watching the film in a different light. If the viewer is new to Argento, while I love this film, there are probably better places to start. I'd recommend The Bird with the Crystal Plumage as an accessible starter film. Suspiria (hopefully it will get a bluray release soon) and Deep Red are also two brilliant films to begin with.
In short thanks Blue Underground for giving us another great transfer of a marvelous film! I can't wait for the releases of Deep Red and The Cat O' Nine Tails.