Inferno (1980)

Rating: C

Dir: Dario Argento
Star: Leigh McCloskey, Irene Miracle, Eleonora Giorgi, Daria Nicolodi

Inferno concerns itself with the same mythos as Suspiria, but is notably less successful, particularly in a second half which sinks largely to prosaic creeping around in a New York basement. This is a real shame, for the first half has some brilliant set-pieces, notably a sequence in a lecture theatre to the strains of Verdi: nothing happens, yet it’s terribly eerie.

Here might be a good point to mention Argento’s alleged “misogyny”: even I began to wonder if his critics might have a point, since while the men die quickly, the women are slaughtered in extended stalk-and-slash scenarios. The use of colour, blood redder than red, and torrents of rain, echo Suspiria yet the laughable moments, such as the pathetic “cat attack”, intrude far more. Maybe something to do with the presence of Lamberto Bava as assistant director? Whatever the reason, the result is disappointing.