Bil’s rating (out of 5): B. Italy, 1980. Produzioni Intersound. Story and Screenplay by Dario Argento. Cinematography by Romano Albani. Produced by Claudio Argento. Music by Keith Emerson. Production Design by Giuseppe Bassan. Costume Design by Massimo Lentini. Film Editing by Franco Fraticelli.
Dario Argento puts memorable firepower into the visuals of a film whose narrative leaves plenty to be desired. After reading an old occult book about witches, a young woman becomes convinced that her apartment building is atop the site where a powerful coven once caused mayhem, exploring the cellar in search of evidence (the underwater sequence that this provokes is ridiculous but also inspired). She writes to her brother in Rome to ask him to visit, which becomes a missing persons search when he arrives and she is nowhere to be found. The aspects of the story having to do with ancient witches is poorly inserted into excuses for gruesome murders, a great deal of the plot is confusing and the conclusion dissatisfying despite the panache with which Argento directs it. Reportedly part of a trilogy begun with Suspiria in 1977 that was not concluded until The Mother Of Tears in 2007.