Blu-Ray Review: Dario Argento’s ‘Inferno’ Deserves Another Look

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CHICAGO – If you think studios are fickle now and that the foreign film market is weird, you should know that it’s been that way for a very long time. Take the case of “Inferno,” Dario Argento’s follow-up to his breakthrough film “Suspiria.” Instead of giving it the wide release and support it deserved, the film was buried, barely released theatrically even in New York. Worst of all, critics played along and didn’t give the film nearly the attention they should have, dismissing it probably because it was so different from the first film in the “Three Mothers” trilogy. Time has been kind to “Inferno” and many horror fans have correctly reassessed it as one of Argento’s best. You should do the same now that it’s available on Blu-ray. Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0

Blue Underground has done a spectacular job of unearthing ’70s and ’80s horror films for the new format of Blu-ray. This is one of the best films in their collection with one of their best video transfers, even if the special features are a bit underwhelming. The quality of the film alone and its gorgeous restoration make the release a must-own for horror fans on its own.

Inferno was released on Blu-Ray on March 29th, 2011
Inferno was released on Blu-Ray on March 29th, 2011
Photo credit: Blue Underground

With “Suspiria” and “Mother of Tears,” “Inferno” represents the second film in a loosely-connected trilogy of films about “The Three Mothers.” In this one, a young woman finds a diary and begins an investigation that unleashes Hell. If “Suspiria” was a raging fire, “Inferno” was more of a slow burn and I think that’s what scared the studio and a few of the critics. But, in many ways, “Inferno” is even better than “Suspiria.” It’s slower, but it’s more purposeful and moody, while also being terrifying. At his best, Argento was a master of the atmosphere missing from so many of today’s horror films. “Inferno” represents one of Argento’s best.

Blue Underground presents “Inferno” from an original uncut and uncensored negative and the restoration is stunning. Some of these old ’70s and ’80s horror films can look awfully grainy and their flaws are often exposed even more in HD. That’s not the case with “Inferno.” This is one of the company’s best.

The special features are a bit scant but they’re still interesting, including several interviews and an introduction by Dario Argento himself.

Special Features:
o “Art & Alchemy” — Interview with Star Leigh McCloskey
o “Reflections of Rose” — Interview with Star Irene Miracle
o Interview with Writer/Director Dario Argento and Assistant Director Lamberto Bava
o Theatrical Trailer
o Dario Argento Intro

“Inferno” stars Irene Miracle, Daria Nicolodi, and Leigh McLoskey. It was written and directed by Dario Argento. It was released by Blue Underground on March 29th, 2011. It is not rated and runs 106 minutes. content director Brian Tallerico

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