slothtroyer’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Urban horror/fantasy" is always very attractive to me so I am sucked in here. The idea that otherworldly chaos could be tucked in here among the ordered, logical grids of a city. The idea that "The Weird" could be right there in the middle of all that hustle and bustle. Its frightening yet arresting, and dreamy. An apartment building. A labyrinth of strange patrons and blood thirsty horrors. Each room filled with a new bit of wonder, some mystical trinket, a stuff lizard, a crimson guillotine, killer cats, something new and sharp to die on. A woman at the top of it all waiting looking bored. She seems ready to say "it took you long enough." Fire suddenly engulfs.
The plot here, much like the fictional building at its center, famously makes only a chaotic sort of sense. I could not sit down and tell you how every little beat logically fits in with the next but it doesnt seem to matter with this one. I imagine Dario himself would have hard time with such a task. Sure some of the strangeness here is due to sheer human error. This is by someone who finds traditional film conventions like plot and character to be a necessary ends to a means. Dario is more concerned with is communicating nightmares, and fantasies. The revolving door of goofy characters, the confused plot, the over the top sets and colors, Its all here to create something more, something cursed, to attempt to communicate something otherworldly.
But it is just a building is it not? There is the blue print, fashioned in a world of logic, bound together by numbers, and yes, there is the strange old man who built it, or does he simply watch over it...what is wrong with him. The drowning room. Witches. The Mothers. The blood. What is it all for? There are some basic scooby doo type answers, (witches, magic books, curses) but none are all that satisfactory, none really explain the confused feeling you have when you walk away from this Edgar Allen Poe tower of gore. A heat, a burning in your brain, as you climb forever, room after room, horror after horror. The Inferno.
...Also its a ton of Scooby Doobin fun
Hail Hot Dog Man
I wish for a death by cats...