Inferno ★★★★½

Though the scorching finale (heavily directed by Mario Bava, who stepped in while Argento was ill towards the tail end of the production) doesn't quite stick the intended landing, and on a whole this lacks some of the precision and sub-textual genius of its similarly fantastical predecessor, INFERNO is still very much a masterclass of tightly constructed phantasmagoria in its own right. At its best, the film resembles a twisted tone poem of conflicting realities and sacred knowledge; somehow, this is even more deliciously disconnected than SUSPIRIA, with every detail feeling so ingeniously off-kilter and every character walking through the affair as if their only purpose was to play the pawn. Both films are unforgettable in their unfailing ability to put us in our place where supernatural phenomenon is concerned, and Argento's current slump - which will seemingly follow him all the way to the grave at this point - is even more bewildering given his formerly unique method of extracting poetry from the distant cries of the damned.

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