"His name is Baal and he'll create wounds that won't heal."
- Arcano Incantatore (Carlo Cecchi)
Giacomo Vigetti is accused of sexually harassing a young woman. In order to avoid undue attention he decides to take on a job cataloging rare manuscripts in a remote villa, for a priest who had been excommunicated for allegedly practicing in the occult. Giacomo stumbles onto a destroyed by the church copy of Weyer's Pseudo-Monarchy of Demons, that the priest had been using as a cypher. And eventually uncovers the priests true identity.
The decline of Italian horror (actually Italian cinema in general) during the 90's to present is well documented. Somehow Pupi Avati managed to buck the trend and craft something truly amazing with L'arcano incantatore aka Arcane Sorcerer. Its one of those rare old school horrors that works almost entirely on its sinister atmosphere alone, with minimal special fx. Its lush period production values and two central performances by Stefano Dionisi & Carlo Cecchi helped greatly. HELL I really enjoyed anyway, its sorta reminiscent of a creepy version of Amadeus or even Quills. Dare I call it the last great Italian horror movie?
[Personal Reasons For Remembering]
The movie was so interesting it even spurned me to read (which is odd given I've got 'Nicholas Carr's The Shallows' skim reading virus, fuck you g666gle), about the fascinating Johann Weyer and his extraordinary book Pseudomonarchia Daemonum (hell they need to do a Weyer biopic).
Originally taken from Letterboxd