Italian supernatural horror film, written and directed by Dario Argento. The film stars Irene Miracle, Leigh McCloskey, Eleonora Giorgi, Daria Nicolodi and Alida Valli. The cinematography was by Romano Albani and Keith Emerson composed the film’s thunderous musical score. The story concerns a young man’s investigation into the disappearance of his sister, who had been living in a New York City apartment building that also served as a home for a powerful, centuries-old witch.
A thematic sequel to Suspiria (1977), the film is the second part of Argento’s Three Mothers trilogy. The long-delayed concluding entry, The Mother of Tears, was released in 2007. All three films are partially derived from the concept of “Our Ladies of Sorrow” (Mater Lachrymarum, Mater Suspiriorum and Mater Tenebrarum) originally devised by Thomas de Quincey in his book Suspiria de Profundis (1845).
Unlike Suspiria, Inferno received a very limited theatrical release and the film was unable to match the box office success of its predecessor. While the initial critical response to the film was mostly negative, its reputation has improved considerably over the years. Kim Newman has called it “perhaps the most underrated horror movie of the 1980s.” In 2005, the magazine Total Film named Inferno one of the 50 greatest horror films of all time