Inferno is Dario Argento's masterpiece. For once, he abandoned the idea of a coherent storyline altogether and made a movie that is simply a series of beautifully made setpieces. Many people have criticized Inferno's plot; such people are completely missing the point. Inferno is no more concerned with plot than Luis Bunuel was with movies such as The Phantom of Liberty; where Bunuel was concentrating on images and ideas, Argento is concentrating on images and emotion, specifically fear. Each scene features a character or characters running afoul of the Three Mothers, entities introduced obliquely in Argento's previous movie, Suspiria, and developed considerably here. The third movie in the Three Mothers trilogy remains unmade. Each scene is carefully coded by judicious use of colour and sound. All the best setpieces in the movie feature no dialogue whatsoever (most notably the scenes in the underwater chamber and the lecture theatre). Much of the most significant dialogue is whispered offscreen by unseen persons. Inferno is that rarest of breeds: pure cinema. Not only could it not have succeeded in any other medium, it cannot be adequately described in words. Anyone who is seriously concerned with artistic cinema must see this movie, as should most horror fans. Anyone who has trouble getting their head around movies that push beyond the conventional three-act storyline will almost certainly hate it.
An American college student in Rome and his sister in New York investigate a series of killings in both locations where their resident addresses are the domain of two covens of witches.
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May 19, 2019