If Dario Argento’s hyperbolic and hallucinatory shocker Suspiria (1977) was the Italian’s attempt to represent on screen the sensation and atmosphere of a nightmare then his second film too explore the mythical Three Mothers Inferno is an eccentric enigma wrapped inside a nightmare. Although the storyline of Inferno can be followed reasonably enough the film itself has an illogical internal structure that makes it unique in the filmography of Argento. It is the only horror film of Argento’s that at times drifts into the experimental territory of the avant-garde. It could be argued that Inferno is a nonsensical muddle, an example of how Argento’s writing became increasingly fragmented and prone to trite and stilted dialogue, but as a visual experience the film is a fascinating journey into a different sphere of understanding. Argento attempts to expand the baleful and malignant influence of the Three Mothers by locating the action in both Rome and New York. One visual error Argento makes is to represent both locations with a similar colour palette. He succeeds along with his DOP Romano Albini in making both settings suitably mysterious and frightening but the similarity of Rome and New York and the frequent cross-cutting between the two can create a sense of temporal and spatial confusion. The startling use of reds, greens, blues and yellows is carried over from Suspiria, but without the depth and richness that came with the Technicolor cinematography of the previous film. Although Argento is clearly aiming for temporal and spatial imbalance to aid his nightmare aesthetic for an audience it can be a little frustrating. At times Inferno is an irritating film.