Old & Stuffy
Rose Elliot (Irene Miracle) comes across an old diary by architect, E. Varelli, which tells of the Three Mothers which as Rose reads believes is connected to the apartment she lives in. Fearful she writes to her brother Mark (Leigh McCloskey), in Rome who is there to study music, as she is frightened for her own life. After reading her letter Mark returns to New York but not only does he arrive too late and finds himself investigating his sister's death but after he left Rome his friend Sara (Eleonora Giorgi) read the letter and discovered something which leads to her murder.
I like to think of myself as quite an open movie fan, I will pretty much watch any sort of movie from the bloodiest horror to the stupidest comedy and as such I had been meaning to watch a Dario Argento horror movie for some time having never experienced any of his movies. So where does someone start when they have no knowledge of Argento, well I started with "Inferno" as I read it was the writer/ director's greatest movie. Well I hate to say this but if "Inferno" is Dario Argento at his best I would hate to see him at his worth.
So what was my experience of "Inferno" from a complete Argento virgin? Well first thing is a storyline which not only seems incoherent and messy and frankly quite a chore to follow but also a storyline which seems little more than a vehicle for set pieces and to fill in the gaps in between various graphic scenes. Maybe those who have experienced Argento before will be more ready for this sort of storyline but it is a movie which for me constantly struggled to keep me interested in the actual storyline.
So if you take "Inferno" as more a visual showcase it becomes a real mixed bag. On one had the sets are great; from the stunning exteriors to the impressive interiors, such as the library with its galleries, it is hard not to be impressed especially as Argento does capitalize on the look. But then there are the moments of horror and sadly whilst again having an almost artistic feel to them they actually did little for me because sadly they all felt too manufactured, too designed and not actually that horrifying.
What this all boils down to is that on the back of "Inferno" I can't say that Dario Argento did much for me. Maybe back in 1980 it was more impressive, maybe for fans of Argento who are already familiar with his style will find it works but other than being a bit artistic it didn't do it for me and in truth left me quite bored.