Suspiria (1977) - Dario Argento

Dario Argento is a master of Italian cinema; his work with unique lens types and his beautiful use of color make this one of the most artistic horror movies ever produced. The way he utilizes color to set up a creepy dream like feel throughout the film is amazing, and his soundtrack is insanely scary. The sharp tones and agonizing moaning stick with me even now while I write this review.

The movie's story is a bit hard to follow at first. This is one of those flicks that selectively chooses when the dialog is going to be quiet, almost inaudible, and then out of nowhere this insane screeching sound like nails on a chalkboard accompanied by screaming and moaning shoots out of the quiet and makes you very uneasy. The whole movie is like watching a nightmare play out on a T.V. screen.

The movie is about a young girl from America who comes to Germany to attend a ballet school. She and other students begin to notice that something is defiantly amiss here and that the staff is actually a coven of witches! The deaths are incredibly violent. The first one is long and brutal, however the barbed wire death is the best. If you haven't seen the movie than you might not understand what I'm talking about. Just take my word for it, this is a work of art and a good horror film. The entire piece is summed up in a heart-pounding ending. This is quite possibly one of the weirdest endings to a film I have ever seen. The ending credits are even weird with the first thing being:

You have been watching "Suspiria"

Almost like you would have forgotten that this was just a movie. It is just a movie though and it has its downfalls just like any other film. One, the editing is horrible. It looks as if Argento ran out of funding and couldn't hire an editor. Two, the special effects and make-up budget must of been way low; the blood looked like dark pink paint and the stabbings looked weird and unnatural. And three, the story is just a bit too hard to follow; I was a little lost for about 10 minuets there altogether with the really low whispering.

Even with those three things dragging it down the movie will pull in a 9 of 10 and secure a spot on the 1001 horror movies list. If you watch this make sure you do it in the dark. It is a perfect film for you insomniacs that like to scare yourselves.

Which witches?

  • A remake is supposedly in production with Natalie Portman as the lead; however it might be in "Production Hell".
  • This is part of a trilogy, the other two films being Inferno and The Mother of Tears.
  • According to the Village Voice this is the 100th greatest film of the 20th Century.