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John Carpenter’s ‘Prince of Darkness’ Was Inspired by Dario Argento’s ‘Inferno’

John Carpenter’s ‘Prince of Darkness’ Was Inspired by Dario Argento’s ‘Inferno’

One of the hardest things to depict onscreen is anything related to Hell, which is why I love films like Hellraiser, The Ninth Gate, Angel Heart and The Devil’s Advocate. It’s unbelievably hard to make these films realistic and haunting, yet some filmmakers find that sweet spot right in the middle. Two other classics are John Carpenter‘s Prince of Darkness and Dario Argento‘s Inferno. Interestingly, Carpenter revealed that his 1987 film – about a research team finding a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church that could bring upon the end of the world –  was directly inspired by Argento’s trip to Hell.

Prince of Darkness was a movie that was inspired by a Dario Argento movie called Inferno,” Carpenter told CoS. “I loved Inferno, but the thing that was inspiring to me was it was just so free. Narratively, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but that didn’t matter. The movie was so profound. I thought, Well shit, I want to do something like this. So that’s what my inspiration really came from.”

After self-reflecting for a moment, Carpenter joked: “I haven’t ever told Dario that. I should tell him.”

Argento’s Inferno came out in 1980 and followed an American college student in Rome and his sister in New York who investigate a series of killings in both locations where their resident addresses are the domain of two covens of witches.

Both Inferno and Prince of Darkness are must-see Halloween films. Pair them with any of the aforementioned psychological horrors mentioned above and you’ll have all the tricks and treats you can handle.



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