Inferno ★★★½

Not being aware of the the Three Mothers trilogy, I didn't think I'd end up comparing this as much to Suspiria so I promise I'm not trying to be a contrarian here when I say I preferred this so much more to Suspiria. I was shocked how much better Dario was able to unify his color, sound and lighting choices in just one movie. Suspiria may have been more fantastical in it's presentation, but the solid color lighting scheme of this movie will stick in my head so much more.

Something that really endeared me to this movie more than other Argento projects was how selectively he used sound. Often, Dario knew when to keep the noise to minimal ambience, where his visuals gain so much more impact. I also generally liked the music a lot as it followed a bit more closely to a classical horror score (except for the weird "SUSPIRIORUM!" song). Scenario-wise, we also get a great collection of slightly off but inventive deaths. The standout has to be the "rats" scene, one of the few times I've seen a hilarious bait-and-switch in a horror kill.

The movie does lose a lot once you start to leave the visuals. The dialogue is pretty mediocre (women say "I'm frightened!" quite a lot) and the pacing is fairly repetitive and bloated near the beginning. Unlike many others, I found the story to be incredibly straightforward (witches kill people who get in any way related to them), but this clarity did mean the story lacked a lot of depth. I will say that despite it being uneven, the ending does pick up the story quite a lot, something not a lot of horror movies can do well so it earns some respect in that regard. This may be my favorite Argento film so far, but I have yet to really dig deep into his work.

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