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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Inferno (1980)

“What the crap is going on?” I said repeatedly as I watched Dario Argento’s stunning film Inferno.  He wouldn’t have it any other way!  Argento works in color in the same way Hitchcock worked in black and white.  Every scene is illuminated to perfection in primary color textures of blue, red and the occasional yellow.  It’s dark, surreal and moody.  When they come together to form the regular color spectrum, even this seems strange as if you can’t trust it in this dream-like world.  I wish more modern filmmakers took as much care as Argento does in framing each and every shot.  It’s beautiful to behold.

Argento wrote and directed Inferno.  He also provided the voice-over as the narrator.  Romano Albani is the cinematographer in this visual feast.  He also worked with Argento on Phenomena (1985) which is one of my favorite Argento films as well.  He also did Troll (1986) which shows his wide ranges as a cinematographer.  As far as I’m concerned, they work magic together.

Surprisingly, Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer provides the music which varies from progressive rock to discordant symphony.  His musical textures are as quirky as the visuals so they go perfectly together.

I could spend time telling you about the plot but Inferno is one of those films that needs to be experienced without any preconceived notions of what it’s about.  Inferno is definitely an underrated and under appreciated film from one of the most unique and visionary filmmakers in horror.  Don’t miss it.

RATING: Excellent.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.


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